CLEARWATER, Fla. — Grady Sizemore may or may not be the starting center fielder for the Red Sox when they take the field on March 31 at Camden Yards in Baltimore. But John Farrell made it clear that at some point, likely early in the season, when he does start to play, he’ll be the starting center fielder to stay.
“We have every reason to believe at this point that he is a likely candidate to become an every day player, with durability on his side at some point,” Farrell said of the veteran outfielder who is batting .360 in eight games this spring.
Recovering from chronic knee and back ailments over the past two seasons, Sizemore came into camp not having played a competitive game since Sept. 2011. Sizemore, who’s also had a sports hernia and a bad elbow, has impressed coaches and fans alike with athletic plays in the field and a compact, efficient swing at the plate.
“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,” Farrell said before Friday’s game against Philadelphia at Bright House Field. “We haven’t reached that yet, which is all extremely positive.”
Sizemore played in all nine innings for the first time Thursday against the Yankees and Farrell said he came through it very well and is on schedule to return to the field in a minor league game Saturday. He’ll play for the Red Sox again on Sunday and Monday and be evaluated on Tuesday morning to see how he handled the three straight games and five in six days.
“The medical exam, the medical information is guiding us with a progression. But every piece of feedback from the medical staff has been positive with the end thought that he’ll become an every day player,” Farrell said. “”There’s no template. That why we have experts in [Sports Medical Director] Dan Dyrek and our medical staff that give us that guidance.”
Despite the encouraging tone, Farrell still would not commit to Sizemore even heading north with the team when they break camp on Saturday.
“I don’t know that I would go to that point yet,” Farrell said. “I think we need to get through this coming week first.”
If Sizemore does indeed start every day in center, he will likely be the leadoff hitter as well. Thursday night, he batted first, followed by Shane Victorino, Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz and Mike Napoli. That is a scenario that could easily translate into the regular season.
“If we have Grady in the leadoff spot, it gives us another good player,” Farrell said. “The lineup we saw [Thursday] is one scenario, one version, right-handed, left-handed matchups that are there, rest requirements might be needed. I think you know who our guys are and roughly the spots they’re in the lineup. I think we showed early in the season and late in the season that we would make changes based on matchups or who’s swinging the bat a little bit better at a given time.”
More from John Farrell:Clay Buchholz will stay behind and throw a minor league game on Sunday, March 30, while the team is already in Baltimore. Buchholz, who’s already made four starts this spring, is in line to start April 5 against Milwaukee at Fenway. But as the No. 5 starter to begin the season, he will need to make two more starts in spring, with one coming Tuesday in Port Charlotte against the Rays and the second on March 30, likely in Fort Myers.
“I think it’s critically important that he doesn’t miss that last start,” Farrell said. “So that’s something we’ll sit down and we’ll talk about.”Craig Breslow continues to be in line for his first outing of spring Monday in Sarasota: “Twenty pitches of live BP today and came out of that fine. Good intensity and he’s on tap for Monday’s first game action.” In addition to making his fourth start of the spring Friday, Jon Lester got his first at-bat, thanks to the host Phillies and manager Ryne Sandberg not choosing to allow the DH rule in the spring game. Before his first at-bat, Lester asked catcher Wil Nieves something and proceeded to take three pitches for a strikeout: “These situations are exchanged early in camp, almost right at the beginning of the game schedule,” Farrell said before the game. “I think there was a willingness if Ortiz were on the trip but we weren’t going to make that concession. A manager will look at his own team and know what his needs are. We’re the visitors and we play by the rules.” The Braves will offer DH when the Red Sox visit Disney on Saturday. Farrell heard about the wicked line drive off the face of Cincinnati Reds closer Aroldis Chapman on Wednesday night. That’s all, frankly, he wanted or needed to know.
“I haven’t seen the replay and actually, I haven’t really sought it out to see it,” Farrell said of the line drive off the bat of Kansas City’s Salvador Perez. “I read the report, saw what happened. Scary.”
Scary is one way to put it. Chapman was actually lucky, by most accounts, that the liner hit him above the left eye and bridge of the nose and not lower. He needed nearly three hours of surgery and a metal plate to stabilize the facial fractures. Early estimates have him missing 6-8 weeks while he recovers from the fracture and the concussion. He won’t be able to actively exercise for a month while the healing process takes hold.
MLB has discussed offering some sort of protective padded cap to protect pitchers but those discussions are very preliminary.
“Honestly, I haven’t seen a prototype,” Farrell said. “It was talked about. I haven’t even seen any official announcement where these are an option. In this instance, I don’t know that there’s anything that can be done,” Farrell said. “I don’t know that any protective hat would have deflected the blow. Just hopefully, he can make a full recovery.”On the 2013 Red Sox being the closest knit team he’s been around in 30 years of baseball: “It starts with the people themselves and the selection of people, the backgrounds that we became aware of. The reputations that they had as not only people but good teammates and the combination of all that were brought in, in addition to the holdover players. It was just a group of guys that meshed extremely well. Some of the challenges that we faced as a team probably helped galvanize that a little bit more. The tangible thing is the people that are in it.”
Did he think of growing a beard? “No, no.”On instant replay being helpful in spring training: “It’s hard to say that because we’re dealing with half of a system right now. We have no ability to have it reviewed internally so while this is almost a dress rehearsal. You’re walking out and just asking an umpire, ‘Hey, review it.” And we’re missing the meat of the system, and that is what our people will review inside and how we relay that information and whether we challenge or not. I know that’s all we have to work with right now but you can say any manager could walk out and say, ‘Hey, challenge this play.’ I don’t think that takes a lot of rehearsal.
“It’s just that fact that we know that we have an added tool. To me, it’s going to be drastically different when the regular season opens up. We don’t have the system. We walked through it logistically, yes. We’ve walked through it, critically thought how a play would unfold, the rough amount of time we would need to have the information relayed to say yay or nay to a challenge but that’s all we have to go by right now.
“We’ve already gotten through meetings on the actual functionality of the system. What we haven’t been able to rehearse is the review of the video, the pick-up of the phone, the answering it and walk through that part of it. That’s where you appreciate the ability to use replay here but it’s going to be different.
“For instance, a game like [Thursday], if this is in Yankee Stadium or Fenway, there’s probably going to be up to 16 to 20 angles because you have three stations carrying it unlike a game elsewhere where there might not be the same amount of coverage and you’re not going to same number of angles. The system is standardized and it’s installed by MLB. All that is standardized equipment [in clubhouses].”On one more clarification of the new “Buster Posey” sliding rule at home plate between runner and catcher: “Really, boil it all down, if the runner deviates his base path, that’s where the player can be ejected. But if the catcher is standing at home plate, that catcher can be run over. If he’s without the ball, then he’s automatically safe. But you can still run him over. So basically, it’s the runner, if he deviates off his established base line. Basically, there eliminating the runner going out of the line where Posey got hit.”
FOXBORO — WEEI.com’s Mike Petraglia and Chris Price discuss the return of LeGarrette Blount to Patriots training camp on Saturday, the first day of full pads practice for the defending Super Bowl champions.
Dickerson and Price discuss the RB position and who will get a majority of the workload. They also talk about missing Revis and the CB position. The boys also get into more Deflategate discussions with callers.
Dickerson and Price are live from Fenway today and kick off NFL Sunday discussing some of the events at Pats training camp this week. Then they get into the court battle between Brady and Goodell and where we go from here? The guys give their predictions on just how many games Brady will in fact sit out. They get into the Chris Mortenson situation after he backed out of the D&C interview. Finally, Trags (Mike Petraglia) of WEEI.com joins the boys live from training camp.
Jay King of Masslive.com joins the show to break down the performance of the Celtics during the NBA Summer League. Then Ben and Sam discuss the exciting possibility of a Space Jam sequel.
Michael joins Ben and Sam to discuss the wild NBA Free Agency period and the upcoming Celtics season.
How long will this rebuild take? How much money will it take to keep Bae Crowder? Are Draft Picks even worth anything? With the Danny Ainge not landing any big names in the draft, and unable to lure any big names in free agency, Sam and Ben discussed if the Celtics are doomed moving forward.
Joe & Dave talked to the Sox rookie, who had four hits, hit two home runs, and scored five runs in the win over the Rays at Fenway
Joe and Dave are joined by Pedro who was at the game and had his number 45 retired by the Red Sox in a very touching pregame ceremony. Pedro talks about going into the Hall of Fame, his time in Boston and love for the game of baseball.
Joe & Dave talked to the Sox designated hitter, who hit two home runs and drove in seven runs in the win over the Tigers.
Don Sweeney, who was hired as the Bruins general manager yesterday speaks with Dale and Holley about his new position and where the Bruins go from here.
The awesomely knowledgeable Fluto Shinzawa calls DJ, Naoko and Pete to talk about his thoughts on the future of the B's. He discusses his column from earlier this week on Cam Neely wanting to give Claude the ax earlier in the season but not getting the ok. Fluto shares his thoughts on Chiarelli's firing, the future for Claude and where the Bruins should go from here. He also gives his opinion on potential moves the team can make, who would fit in here, his thoughts on the NHL playoffs so far and more.
In the final hour of the "midseason finale" as DJ likes to call it, the crew discuss more about the future of the Bruins franchise, the possible power struggle in the front office and who should be the head coach going forward. They talk to intelligent and talented Fluto Shinzawa about all of these thing and more in an excellent interview, and finally, DJ says THANK YOU!
Mike Florio gave us his thoughts on Brady's appeal.
The top stories of the day.
The guys discussed the future of the Red Sox leadership.
Ronda Rousey defended her UFC Bantamweight championship at UFC 190.
Chris Price reports from Foxboro about some of the battles at Training Camp.
Mike Napoli remains a member of the Red Sox, as the team did very little at the July 31st deadline.
Exactly what it
The title says it all
Dale, Michael and Jerry Thornton talk about all things Patriots, including the challenges on the field and the drama off the field as 2015 training camp opens today in Foxborough.
Mikey Adams lets the Red Sox have it and welcomes callers who do the same. The Red Sox (stink)!
Mikey Adams and Lenny Megliola get 36 glorious minutes between games of a Monday doubleheader, and after an 11-1 Red Sox loss, to vent about the declining state of the team.
Mikey Adams and Lenny Megliola talk to #RedSox great Bill Lee, The Spaceman, about the current version of the Sox as only The Spaceman can describe things.
Intern extraordinaire Lucy joins Jerry once again to discuss the most vexing questions in the history of mankind: can men and women coexist? What are the differences between how men and women think? And how mean can women really be?
If you play Fantasy Football then you know there are several “Elephants in the Room!” And nobody is talking about them. Are they afraid? We’re not! The Dallas Running game, Leveon Bell, Demarco Murray & Ryan Matthews in the Philly backfield, the Saints offense and so much more. Right here, WEEI’s own Jim Hackett and Pete Davidson cover all of the main “Elephants in the Room” to help you get the edge for your upcoming drafts. Enjoy!
Russ & Alex discuss Andrea Pirlo's MLS debut, Didier Drogba signing with Montreal and debate which team has had the best transfer window so far.
Mike Florio gave us his thoughts on Brady's appeal.More from this show
We know the leak to ESPN on deflate gate.More from this show
The top stories of the day.More from this show