When the Indians re-signed Grady Sizemore to a one-year, $5 million they did so hoping he’d be ready for Opening Day, but instead the oft-injured center fielder hasn’t played a single game and now he’s been ruled out for the season following another setback.
Manager Manny Acta summed up the situation pretty well to Jordan Bastian of MLB.com:
It’s sad. I won’t call it disappointing. I’m just sad for the human being that he is, and the type of player that he is. … A lot of things have happened over the last three, four years that have been completely out of his control. The guy played the game right. He was an elite player in this league. Unfortunately, over the last three or four seasons, he hasn’t been able to do it.
Sizemore is still only 30 years old, but he’s had multiple surgeries on his back, elbow, and both knees. And he’s just never been able to build any momentum with his latest comeback, repeatedly having to take a break from rehab due to different aches and pains.
By age 25 he’d made three All-Star teams, won two Gold Glove awards, and received MVP votes in four seasons. In four years since then Sizemore will have missed 438 of a possible 648 games while hitting .234 when in the lineup. What a shame.
Pablo Sandoval could be tabbed to play second base in the near future, per a report from John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle. According to Shea, Sandoval has been spotted taking grounders at second during pre-game warm-ups and may be considering switching to the keystone on a part-time basis.
It wouldn’t be the weirdest thing the 31-year-old corner infielder has done this year — that distinction goes to the flawless inning of relief he pitched in a blowout loss against the Dodgers last month. But it would represent a pretty notable departure from his comfort zone even so; Sandoval has primarily manned first and third base throughout his 11-year career in the majors and has also taken a few reps at DH during his resurgence with the Giants in 2018.
Of course, this wouldn’t necessarily be a permanent switch for Sandoval. As Shea points out, the Giants are thin on middle infielders after losing Joe Panik to a torn UCL in his left thumb and backup Alen Hanson to a left hamstring strain. Provided he can get up to speed quickly (no easy feat, according to infield coach Ron Wotus), he’d give the club some added depth behind Kelby Tomlinson and Miguel Gomez until Panik is ready to take the field again. Sandoval has impressed at the plate this spring, batting a healthy .270/.329/.429 with six extra-base hits and a .757 through 70 plate appearances.