Grady Sizemore was somewhat of a long shot when he signed with the Boston Red Sox over the offseason. Now he’s on the verge of locking up the club’s starting center field job.
Sizemore, who will play in three consecutive games for the first time this spring beginning Sunday, likely will be an everyday player at some point, perhaps early in the season, according to manager John Farrell.
“We have every reason to believe at this point that he is a likely candidate to become an everyday player with durability on his side at some point,” Farrell told reporters in Clearwater before Friday’s spring training game against the Philadelphia Phillies. “There’s a progression we’re following to get to everyday play, but the most encouraging thing is he has not hit the proverbial wall where we’ve bumped up against the limits and have to pull back. We haven’t reached that yet, which is all extremely positive.”
Sizemore hasn’t played in a regular-season game since 2011 because of various knee and back injuries, but the 31-year-old has dominated headlines this spring by showing flashes of his former All-Star self. While Jackie Bradley Jr. looked like the front-runner to land Boston’s starting center field gig at the beginning of spring training, it’s becoming increasingly clear that Sizemore could be the guy.
“The medical exam, the medical information is guiding us with a progression,” Farrell said Friday. “But every piece of feedback from the medical staff has been positive with the end thought that he’ll become an everyday player.”
Farrell wouldn’t fully commit Friday to Sizemore being the Red Sox’s Opening Day center fielder. But if things continue on the current path, it might not be long before Sizemore is firmly entrenched in Boston’s regular-season starting lineup nearly every day.