Grady Sizemore’s feel good story of a comeback in Boston is over, as the Red Sox have designated the outfielder for assignment to make room on the roster for third base prospect Garin Cecchini’s call-up.
Sizemore got off to an impressive start after missing all of 2012 and 2013 with injuries, but then hit just .187 with zero homers and a .530 OPS over a 43-game stretch from April 15 to June 15. Overall he hit .216 with two homers and a 41/19 K/BB ratio in 52 games, producing a measly .612 OPS that ranks 83rd out of 93 outfielders with at least 150 plate appearances.
Sizemore can surely find another team willing to take a flier on him via a minor-league deal, but sadly it’s looking likely that all the injuries and missed time have the three-time All-Star seeming washed up at age 31.
Cecchini briefly made his MLB debut for the Red Sox on June 1 before heading back to Triple-A, where he’s hit .263 with two homers and a .673 OPS in 62 games as a 23-year-old. That’s unimpressive production, but Cecchini was 74th on Baseball America’s list of prospects heading into the season. He’s played exclusively third base in the minors and the Red Sox have Xander Bogaerts there after re-signing Stephen Drew to play shortstop, so it’s unclear whether Cecchini is in their plans for more than another brief stint.
Tigers’ right-handed reliever Francisco Rodriguez was released on Friday, per a team announcement. The club recalled fellow right-hander Bruce Rondon from Triple-A Toledo in a corresponding move.
The former closer got the boot after losing his closing role in early May, giving left-hander Justin Wilson a chance to impress at the back end of the bullpen. It’s been a rough year for Rodriguez, who manufactured six blown saves and a 7.82 ERA, 3.9 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 over 25 1/3 innings for the Tigers. The final straw, it seemed, came with Robinson Cano‘s grand slam in the seventh inning of the Tigers’ 6-9 loss to the Mariners on Thursday.
While the demotion to a clean-up role and an apparent lack of communication caused Rodriguez considerable frustration, he’s two years removed from his last dominant performance as a major league closer and has shown few signs of returning to form. His recent slump doesn’t diminish the impressive totals he’s racked up over his 16-year career — 437 saves and six All-Star nominations among them — but if he can’t break out of it soon, he may not receive the kind of high leverage role he’s seeking with another big league team, either.
The Red Sox have signed third baseman Jhonny Peralta to a minor-league deal. He’ll report to Pawtucket.
Peralta, 35, hit a paltry .204/.259/.204 in 58 plate appearances for the Cardinals this year. But with Pablo Sandoval on the disabled list — and ineffective when he hasn’t been — the Sox could use some infield depth.
This is the second former Tiger that former Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski has picked up today, after signing Doug Fister. No word if he’s kicking the tires on Andy Dirks or Brennan Boesch.