FORT MYERS, Fla. — Grady Sizemore’s comeback attempt has been incredibly smooth to this point.
Sizemore took another giant step forward Friday by accomplishing various little things in the Boston Red Sox’s 4-1 spring training victory over the Atlanta Braves at JetBlue Park.
Sizemore’s day started with an infield single. He hit a slow roller to the right side that Braves second baseman Tommy La Stella charged but couldn’t wrangle. Sizemore got down the line very well.
“I like that I’m getting opportunities to get on the bases and move around a little bit and have different situations,” Sizemore said after exiting Friday’s game. “It’s one of those things where you hit a ball in the infield and you’ve got to try to beat out an infield hit. It’s something that you can’t simulate.”
Sizemore then roped a single into center field in the third inning, and followed up the knock by advancing to second base on a pitch in the dirt. Although Sizemore probably won’t get the green light on any stolen-base attempts any time soon, it was encouraging to see his aggressiveness on the basepaths.
“It’s a situation where I got a good jump and I thought I’d take a chance,” Sizemore said.
The Red Sox took a chance by signing Sizemore in the offseason, and while the 31-year-old still is getting his feet under him, he has exceeded all expectations this spring. Not only has Sizemore looked good physically, but he also has produced in game action, which likely will lead to more playing time as spring training moves on.
“Time will tell,” manager John Farrell said regarding Sizemore’s potential impact with the Red Sox. “But through the exam in the offseason when we were recruiting him, we were pretty confident that his return from the injuries would allow him to get on the field. The only question that we have right now is answering the durability one.”
Sizemore, who had been sidelined since 2011 because of various knee and back injuries, said Friday that he’s not overthinking things on the diamond. His focus instead is on progressing to the point where his injuries become a distant memory.
“It’s not one of those things where I’m hesitating or worried about anything,” Sizemore said. “I think if I were thinking along those lines I wouldn’t be ready to play. The good thing about my situation is I can just kind of go out there and play. It’s just a matter of trying to not go too crazy out there and get too aggressive too soon.”
So far, so good.