Friday, March 28, 2014

Day 362: Grady Sizemore Wins Opening Day CF Job

Opening Day is in four days. You know what else happens in four days? I will have officially reached the Balls of All Sizes goal of 365 straight days of posting... Opening Day of 2013 to Opening Day of 2014. And I have loved every single moment. You know what else I love? I love surprises. I especially love surprises like Grady Sizemore.

If there was one guy I was rooting for this spring, it was Grady Sizemore. The 31-year-old former Cleveland Indian hasn't played a big league game since September 22, 2011. Yes, 2011. He has been out of major league baseball for more than two full seasons. And now? Well, Red Sox skipper John Farrell has just named Sizemore as the starting center fielder for Opening Day.

Sizemore beat out Jackie Bradley Jr. who started last season's Opening Day, but never fared as well in regular season, big league action than he did in spring training. And Bradley has yet to bounce back and was optioned back to Triple-A Pawtucket prior to today's game. Sizemore is having an outstanding spring with a .333 batting average in 39 at bats and a home run and he's also made some pretty spectacular catches too!

I feel sort of bad for Bradley though. With the departure of Jacoby Ellsbury, that center field job was most certainly his for the taking. But what a difference a year makes. After batting a staggering .419 in spring training back in 2013, Bradley is batting just a .158 this spring. He never hit over .200 in his short time with the Red Sox last year—it's like something just broke him.

And who knows... maybe Sizemore won't be able to handle the strains of playing every day. I mean shit, he's had like seven surgeries in the past few years and his knees are going to be the issue—if there is one. But if Bradley can't prove he can successfully hit on the major league level, the Sox will have to use someone like Jonny Gomes to take the pressure off Sizemore.

Whatever the case may be... I'll be rooting for Sizemore to do well and stay injury free. This guy truly does deserve a break.

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