The Grady Sizemore experiment is coming to a close


May 24, 2014; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox center fielder Grady Sizemore (38) reacts as he walks off the field after they lost to the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

In a way, Grady Sizemore‘s season has been strangely similar to that of the Boston Red Sox as a whole. Just like the Red Sox, Sizemore entered the season with high expectations– which he had built over a spring which saw him slash .310/.356/.429 with highlight reel defense– but has failed to live up to those lofty standards to date. There have been bright spots along the way, including an Opening Day home run which seemed to signify that Sizemore was back in the majors, but it seems clear by now that those bright spots were merely exceptions to an otherwise failed experiment on the part of the Red Sox.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s an experiment that I would execute ten times out of ten. On the off chance that Sizemore was able to find himself and return to his form of 2005-2008, then the Red Sox had a chance to find something truly special. However, by early June, it should be clear that this is not the Sizemore of old.

In 188 plate appearances this season, Sizemore has hit just .222/.291/.333 with just 2 home runs and 5 stolen bases– a far cry from being on pace with his 162-game averages of a .267/.354/.466 slash line, 24 home runs, and 24 steals. And that’s not even mentioning his defense, which according to FanGraphs, has been absolutely terrible in center field and below average in both right and left field.

With his performance so far and little sign of improvement from Sizemore, it’s about time that the Red Sox cut ties with the 31-year old outfielder. Once Shane Victorino returns from the disabled list and considering Brock Holt‘s move to the outfield (which was very successful in his debut last night), the Red Sox will have six outfielders on the roster. At least one will have to go, and all sources point to it being Sizemore. Of the outfielders on the roster, he has the least upside and his performance hasn’t even been close to good enough to warrant a regular spot in the lineup.

So, all things considered, it’s time we put an end to this Grady Sizemore experiment. Victorino doesn’t currently have a timetable on his return (which is concerning in its own right), though he did take batting practice two days ago, but when he does return it will likely be Sizemore who receives the axe. Sizemore was a truly excellent player in his youth and the Red Sox were right to take a flyer on him, but he isn’t at that stage in his career anymore and it’s time to move past this.