Grady Sizemore has already shown up for Spring Training prior to when pitchers and catchers are supposed to be reporting in a couple of days and I don't know about you, but I'm getting kind of excited about what he might be capable of if he were to return to form or anywhere close to it.
Unfortunately, he hasn't played in two full years and was basically injured on and off for the two years before that, so let's make it four years of not really playing. However, the good news is he's still only 31 years old. Here's what Sizemore had to say about it:
“I’m healthy. I’m good to go. There will still be some things that I’m working on this spring, just trying to get back to 100 percent. I’m not necessarily in baseball shape but I’m in good physical shape, moving around good. I’m just looking forward to playing baseball."
It'll probably take a good while for him to shake off the rust of being out of baseball and get his timing down, but that's what spring training is for if you're a veteran player. He's always been in great shape, so I'm thinking it will more likely be things like bat speed and reaction time that only come with playing in a game that might take some considerable time to return to game speed.
But here is where I start getting excited now that he appears to be fully healthy...and that's his four full seasons before he was injured. Let's just take a quick look at some of his stats and accolades with the Indians at that time:
2 Gold Gloves
1 Silver Slugger
3 All Star Appearances
4 Seasons where he received at least 1 MVP vote
Top 10 in WAR 4 times
And he's led the AL in Runs Scored, Games Played, Doubles, Extra Base Hits & WAR at least once each.
He averaged 29 Stolen Bases, 41 Doubles, 6 Triples, 27 Home Runs, 82 RBIs, 83 BB, .281 AVG, and played Gold Glove Caliber Defense (won 2).
Just for shits and giggles, I want to compare Grady's 4 seasons to the 4 full seasons that Jacoby Ellsbury has played so far in his career.
He averaged 53 Stolen Bases (led AL 3x), 32 Doubles, 8 Triples, 15 Home Runs, 66 RBIs, 47 BB, .301 AVG, and Gold Glove Caliber Defense (won 1).
So it looks like they're pretty comparable players in their primes. Grady has more pop and more patience at the plate, Ellsbury has more speed and hits better for average. They both are very good in the field. I was just curious to see the comparables. Moving on.
This is a prime example of low risk/high reward. Ben Cherington has been putting together guys who are great clubhouse guys, team first guys, guys with veteran leadership, and do everything right in order to help the team as a whole. Grady Sizemore is exactly that. Plus, his contract is only for 1 year and $750,000. If his injury problems pop up again, no big deal.
And it looks like they found the hunk to replace Jacoby Ellsbury, except this guy dates a smoking hot playboy playmate instead. Hello, Brittany Binger. Enjoy the GF/Wife section at Fenway.
|Do you Grady...do you.|