Grady Sizemore, Jackie Bradley battle front and center at Red Sox spring training

Jackie Bradley Jr. Red Sox
Jackie Bradley Jr. is in a heated battle with Grady Sizemore for the Red Sox’ starting center field job. Credit: Getty Images

Once Jacoby Ellsbury departed for New York, it was assumed Jackie Bradley Jr. would take over in center field — even after the Red Sox signed veteran Grady Sizemore in December.

The 31-year-old Sizemore, who hasn’t played in a regular season MLB game in over two years, has exceeded all expectations this spring, showing no ill-effects of two sports hernia surgeries, surgery on his left elbow and knee, two surgeries on his right knee and back surgery — all coming since 2009.

“I’m just happy to be healthy, be out there playing and be able to do those things,” Sizemore said Monday after going 3-for-4, raising his average this spring to .381 and making two spectacular catches in the outfield.

Manager John Farrell has given no official indication on who the starting center fielder would be, but did say in the past week nothing has “radically changed” the thought of Bradley Jr. as the starting center fielder.

Currently, the Red Sox have six outfielders competing for five spots in Bradley Jr., Sizemore, Shane Victorino, Jonny Gomes, Daniel Nava and Mike Carp. One option is to make Sizemore the opening day center fielder and have Bradley Jr. open the year in Pawtucket, but Bradley Jr. seems ready to make the full-time jump to the majors and the team would be left with Sizemore and Victorino as the only options to play center.


Not an ideal situation with the club wanting to keep Victorino in right field as much as possible and Sizemore having not played in two seasons as well as coming back from all of his procedures, especially with 13 games in 14 days to open the year all in cold weather cities.

Another option could be trading Carp to free up a spot as there have been teams interested in the utility player, but he proved how valuable he is to any team last season, hitting .296 in 86 games while playing a number of positions.

“We’re staying very open-minded to this,” Farrell said. “Our memory serves us well. We knew what kind of player (Sizemore) was. We just had to stay open-minded to the evaluation of spring training and see how he performed. He’s performed very well.”

The Red Sox are preparing for any scenario as Nava will likely see some action in center field in the remaining spring training games in case he needed to play there come the regular season.

Regardless of what happens, the only real certainty is one of the current six outfielders will not be on the Opening Day roster come March 31 in Baltimore.

Follow Metro Boston Red Sox beat writer Ryan Hannable on Twitter @Hannable84



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Is #JusticeForAvaLynn a case of bullying?

On Saturday, the hashtag #JusticeForAvaLynn became one of the trending topics on Twitter. Users circulated the above photo of 5-year-old AvaLynn, posted by her mother…

International

Terrorism could spread to US and Europe in…

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah said terrorism would soon spread to Europe and the United States unless it is quickly dealt with in the Middle East,…

National

Ex-Bitcoin official to plead guilty to Silk Road…

Bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem has reached a plea deal to resolve U.S. charges that he engaged in a scheme to sell over $1 million of…

International

China's army changes tactics to prepare for war…

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said China will spur military innovation and called on the army to create a new strategy for "information warfare" as…

Gossip

Joan Rivers on life support: Report

TMZ reports that comedian Joan Rivers has been placed on life support, "completely reliant on machines to stay alive." Rivers has been hospitalized since she…

Movies

What's new on Netflix in September

September has a supernatural theme for Netflix. UFO "documentaries" and the survivalist reality series "Doomsday Preppers" are among the new series coming to the online…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Wellbeing

VIDEO: Still not wearing sunscreen? You will after…

Sunscreen is possibly the most often repeated - and ignored - piece of skincare advice. But Thomas Leveritt took a different tactic. With a short…

Food

Twitter used to track down sources of food…

When Chicago health officials saw Twitter users complaining about local food poisoning episodes, they reached out on Twitter to those users and often ended up…

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…