In an announcement that comes with little surprise, Red Sox manager John Farrell confirmed to reporters Friday that outfielder Grady Sizemore has indeed made the Opening Day roster and will start in center field against the Baltimore Orioles on Monday.
Jackie Bradley, Jr. will start the season at Triple-A Pawtucket.
Sizemore, 31, hasn’t played in the major leagues in two full seasons, suffering from back and knee injuries. He hit .333 with an .842 OPS in 12 spring exhibition games for the Sox this month.
Bradley, who forced his way onto the Opening Day roster with a sizzling spring training in 2013, struggled much of this exhibition season, batting only .158 with 17 strikeouts in 19 games.
Earlier this week, Farrell had hinted that Sizemore would be on the big league roster when he announced that Sizemore would likely bat fifth or sixth instead of leadoff in order to limit his at-bats. The manager said that Shane Victorino would like bat in the top slot against righties, while Daniel Nava would take the role against lefthanded starters.
In Sizemore’s last season with the Indians in 2011, he hit only .224 in 71 games. He hasn’t played in more than 100 games since 2009, when he hit .248 with 18 home runs, 64 RBI, and had a .788 OPS.