Re: A Realistic View at 2014: Part II
posted at 3/26/2014 10:40 PM EDT
Sizemore is doing all the things that a physically challenged player doesn't do. He's trying to stretch singles into doubles, he's diving for balls in the outfield and crashing into walls, and today he attempted a steal, although it could have been a hit-and-run as the ball was put into play. It may well be that the team is forcing these things just to test his endurance and capabilities, but nothing seems to be standing in his way.
Maybe it's wishful thinking on my part, but Sizemore was once a great athlete. I don't think it's a big stretch to think he has been able to work himself back into near top shape. I realize his past injuries are the type to be lingering or susceptible to relapses, but he certainly appears to be healthy. I also realize he's fighting for a job and a much larger paycheck, and I hope he is not over-extending himself by doing so. I trust Sox management is on top of this.
I'm really excited about Grady's return.
I know it is not going to be easy to replace all that Jacoby brought to this team, but I do see a possibility of Sizemore at least coming close to replacing his fielding and OPS. That would be extremely helpful. At the risk of being called a cherry-picker, here is what Jacoby gave us from 2012-2013:
959 PAs .289/.342/.402/.747 (57th out 93 OF'ers with 700 + PAs)
or even 2013's...
636 PAs .298/.355/.426/.781 (31st out of 81 OF'ers with 400+ PAs)
I wrote a week or so ago that I just didn't know whether it would be Sizemore or JBJ. But now I'm of the opinion that they are going with Sizemore. And I have to agree because right now he is the better player, and if he is going to break down then it makes sense to get whatever productivity we can get from him before (if at all) that happens. JBJ is only 45 minutes away in Pawtucket.
Plus, we may gain another year of team control by keeping JBJ in AAA until needed.
Also, the fact that they're playing Nava in centerfield in AAA games tells me that they are preparing for opening the season without JBJ. As far as Vic is concerned, what I'm hearing is they are being cautious and he could play if these games mattered.
Well, if they were to start Grady in AAA, they'd want Nava to be familiar with CF as well, in case of emergency or to be able to play there until Grady made it up to the big club, if JBJ got hurt.
I think it also shows management's reluctance to move Vic to CF.
Moon, Layne has looked very good and is now a darkhorse to open the season on the 25 man roster, especially if Breslow starts on the DL. I see the pen as Koji, Tazawa, Mujica, Badenhop, Miller, Capuano and any one of Workman, Layne or Cordero. I don't know Cordero or Layne's contract status and what options the team might have, but all three have been effective. Workman obviously has options and so may very well start in Pawtucket and stay stretched out as a starter. Longer term he is clearly the best of the three but having options can work against a young player.
I'm not sure of contract status either, except that Workman can be sent to AAA. I hope we can keep Layne and Cordero as we certainly will need pen depth over the long season.