Boston Red Sox outfielder Grady Sizemore was the media darling during this year’s spring training in Fort Myers, but his success hasn’t translated to the regular season and it’s time for the former three-time All-Star to take a seat on the bench.
A huge reason for the inconsistency of the Red Sox offense has been the lack of production at the top of the lineup. Sizemore, who earlier last month looked like the former All-Star he once was, has struggled in the field and at the plate recently.
Over the last 10 games, Sizemore is batting just .081 with three RBIs and 11 strikeouts. If the former gold glove winner’s defense was good, it would be easier for the Red Sox to keep him in the lineup. The problem is, Sizemore’s defense has been just as bad as his hitting.
Since he is no longer able to track the ball off the bat in centerfield like he could during his days in Cleveland, Sizemore has been asked to play the corner outfield positions. This is the first time in his career that he has played in the corner of the field and he has struggled to adapt in left or right field.
It could be rust, but it appears that the grind of the regular season is catching up to Sizemore. Maybe he could be more productive in less starts and less at-bats. Whatever the case is, it is apparent to everyone that Sizemore isn’t the player the Red Sox thought he was during spring training.
While we are only a month into the baseball season, the Red Sox are struggling in all phases right now. With Jacoby Ellsbury leading off last season, the Red Sox led the majors in runs scored. This season, the Red Sox currently rank 14th in runs scored.
The Red Sox also miss Ellsbury and shortstop Stephen Drew defensively. Those two helped the team become the fifth best defensive team in the American League. With Sizemore playing more in the field, the Sox are currently 20th in the majors in defense.
I’m not saying benching Sizemore would solve all of the Red Sox issues, but it would be a start. With the team playing the Tampa Bay Rays, Oakland Athletics, and the Texas Rangers in a 10 day span, Boston can’t afford to fall back any farther in the American League East.