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.
Things have gone from bad to worse for Red Sox’ outfielder Brock Holt, who was shut down “for the foreseeable future” on Friday after meeting with head trauma specialist Michael Collins. The Red Sox placed Holt on the 10-day disabled list in April after he began experiencing vertigo, the latest in a series of head injuries he’s sustained since last spring.
According to the Boston Herald’s Jason Mastrodonato, the outfielder was initially advised to attempt playing through his symptoms, but it quickly became apparent that the strategy wasn’t going to work. Now, the plan is to shut him down from any game activity in the hopes that he’ll be able to recover from all lingering symptoms before returning to the roster. Club manager John Farrell told reporters that the 28-year-old is still cleared to take batting practice and work on his defense, but won’t continue his rehab starts in Triple-A Pawtucket for the time being.
Holt had been making regular appearances for the Pawtucket Red Sox and was batting .209/.292/.372 with two home runs through 14 games this spring. This season marks his fifth run within the Red Sox’ organization. He experienced a bit of a slump at the plate in 2016 and slashed .255/.322/.383 after breaking out during his first All-Star year in 2015.
Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe suggests that the team’s concern for Holt extends past his setbacks at the plate. It’s still a long road to a full recovery, and while Farrell told reporters he believes the outfielder is on track to make a return sometime in 2017, he’ll need to make sure that Holt is both physically and mentally prepared to do so.
The Washington Nationals have acquired outfielder Ryan Raburn from the Chicago White Sox. Raburn had been playing at Triple-A Charlotte. He’ll be assigned to Triple-A Syracuse in the Nats organization. The Nationals will send cash or a player to be named later to the White Sox to complete the deal.
Raburn has yet to play in the majors this season. Last year he hit .220/.309/.404 with nine homers in 113 games for the Colorado Rockies. The year before that he hit an excellent .301/.393/.543 in part time play for the Indians. Over the course of his 11 year career the 36-year-old has hit .253/.317/.436, which breaks down to an OPS+ of exactly 100, which is league average. Primarily an outfielder, Raburn has played every position except shortstop and catcher in his career. He’s even pitched twice.
The Nats plans for him aren’t entirely clear, but depth it depth.