Don’t Get Excited About Sizemore

Posted: June 24, 2014 in Uncategorized
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New York Yankees v Cleveland IndiansSix years ago, Grady Sizemore was considered one of the best players in baseball. Hailed as a five-tool talent, the former Cleveland Indians’ star could do everything his manager asked of him on the diamond. But, a cavalcade of injuries have taken their toll. A player once believed to be the league’s next great superstar is now nothing more than another career tarnished by time.

Today, the Philadelphia Phillies agreed to a minor league contract with the 31-year old outfielder, who was released by the Boston Red Sox earlier this month. With Boston, Sizemore hit a paltry .216, with an even uglier .612 OPS. The power was gone, as a player who once rocked Cleveland with 33 bombs in 2008 managed just 2 while wearing Red Sox colors. Even worse, his patience, once considered to be among the most refined in the game, has disappeared. Sizemore struck out 41 times in 185 at bats with Boston (with just 19 walks). Those numbers should fit in well with the Phillies’ organization, never considered to be dynamos at reaching base via the walk.

davis_st2275_sptsSizemore will receive the league minimum if he makes the Phillies roster. To do so, he’ll need to show improvement with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, where the veteran will report. If Sizemore doesn’t return his performance to the days of old, the outfielder has an ability to opt out of the contract at the All-Star break.

While Sizemore’s numbers in Boston weren’t very impressive, he did stay healthy. It’s also not as though he’ll have to leap frog the a crop of world-beaters in order to crack the Philadelphia lineup. None of the Phillies’ starting outfielders has an OPS above .778, and 2013 All-Star Domonic Brown has worse numbers in Philly than Sizemore did in Boston. It’s not out of the realm of reality to imagine Sizemore finding playing time by July in red pinstripes.

For the Phillies, the deal makes sense. They’re not on the hook for any real financial obligation (Boston is paying Sizemore $1.25 million for the rest of the season), and they’re already one of the oldest teams in the sport. So, why not add another AARP card to the mantle? If Sizemore cracks the lineup, he’ll at least provide a little bit of depth at a position of need. Still, considering his age, injury history, and lack of recent production; there’s very little reason to get excited about Sizemore.

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