After headlining Spring Training with his feel-good comeback story, Grady Sizemore — who recently just played in his 32nd game of the season (a miracle by my standards) — appears to be settling back into the familiar swing of the grind that is the MLB season.
Sizemore has started the first quarter of the season with a slash of .225/.298/.351/.650, including 6 doubles, 2 homers, and 13 RBI’S. He’s struck out 21 times and collected 12 walks, nabbed 2 steals, scored 9 runs, and has committed 0 errors (surprising considering he’s had to adjust to playing left and right field).
His approach at the plate has been solid. He hasn’t looked overmatched, even after missing so much time, and despite a wretched slump that lasted for almost the entire month of April where he hit just .191, he showed a lot of poise by breaking out of it and hitting .286 so far in May.
When you look at the .225 average and see me say that he hasn’t looked overmatched, I can understand a little bit of head scratching. But the reason I say this is because he is making a ton of solid contact and looks comfortable at the plate. For not seeing Major League pitching for such a long period of time, he is only swinging at pitches outside the strike zone 26.2 percent of the time. His contact percentage is at 80.2 percent, which is fairly good, and his line drive percentage currently sits at 18.4 percent, just a tick below league average. Is everything clicking yet? Not quite, but baby steps, my friends, baby steps.
Defensively, it’s kind of been a toss up. Before this season, Sizemore had started exactly 845 games in center field, and exactly zero games in both right and left. This year, John Farrell has already used Sizemore in every outfield position — 8 starts in CF, 16 starts in LF, and 4 starts in RF. At the very least, it is a questionable decision by Farrell to add “learning a new position” to the list of things Sizemore is trying to do right now, but with the emergence of Jackie Bradley Jr’s defensive ability in center, Farrell’s hands were kind of tied if he wanted to get Sizemore in the lineup.
Still, Sizemore has yet to commit an error and has even added 3 outfield assists.
Eventually, all those numbers mentioned above will matter a whole lot more. Like every other player, Sizemore will soon be judged on production and results. But for the time being, Sizemore is not like every other player. The biggest thing to takeaway about Sizemore so far is this: He’s healthy and available to play.
I was not alone when I didn’t think he’d make it past game 5, so it’s hard for me to sit here and criticize his ability. The fact that he hasn’t fallen apart already impresses me, and while I don’t think he’ll ever be the same player he once was back with Cleveland, I think Grady Sizemore can blossom into a nice asset for the Boston Red Sox this year.
Get all your news and notes at the Boston Red Sox team page.