Red Sox testing Sizemore's durability this week

Red Sox testing Sizemore's durability this week
March 19, 2014, 4:45 pm
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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- With just 10 days remaining before they leave Florida, the Red Sox are poised to ramp up the workload for outfielder Grady Sizemore.
     
Sizemore, who went 3-for-4 in seven innings in a minor league game Wednesday afternoon, will play again Thursday night. Then, after an off-day Friday, he'll play Saturday, Sunday and Monday, giving him five games in the span of six days to test his durability.
     
Still, Farrell said, from a physical standpoint, the jury is still out on projecting whether Sizemore is ready to open the season on the major league roster.
     
"We'll probably have a better read on that in another 10 days,'' said Farrell. "This has been a pretty well thought out plan for the increase in volume and we're going to take every available day to process that information. We'd like to have a crysal ball, but when we signed Grady, we knew there were going to be a number of questions to be answered. He's answering some of those.
     
"We also look at it from a big picture perspect and what gives us the best possibility to have a productive player over the long run, that includes a gradual build-up. How we get to that, that's what we're still working through."
     
Sizemore, after his minor league appearance Wednesday, said he's "getting better and better. Each game, I get a little more comfortable. I'm just trying to continue to see pitches and have good at-bats."
     
Whatever the Sox have planned to test him, Sizemore is eager to take on the challenge.
     
"Every day's been better and better," said Sizemore. "Every day seems to feel a little bit stronger and the body seems to react a little bit faster
each week. I'm just trying to build off that."
     
While nothing has been guaranteed to him, Sizemore said he does feel satisfied with things to date.
     
"I didn't know how the body was going to hold up on a day-to-day basis," he said, "if I was going to be able to push it every day. So far, it's allowed me to keep upping the volume and pushing the intensity and I still don't think I've reached that ceiling where I went too far."
     
In the last week, Sizemore had three hits against St. Louis and another three hits in the minor league game Wednesday, but he's also pleased with how he's come along defensively.
     
"Everything feels good (in the outfield)," he said, "but I still feel like there's room for improvement. It's (about) getting breaks and a better first step, just feeling more explosive and that good first step. I'm happy with where it's at, but I'd like a little bit more improvement."
     
The one thing the Sox haven't had Sizemore do is steal bases. They're saving that for the last box to check.
     
"We've seen every other phase of his game be natural and second-nature to him," said Farrell. "He's advanced on balls in the dirt, put in motion on 3-and-2 counts...So there's no hesitation on him sliding or anything like that. So so far, so good."
     
"It's not a huge thing for me," said Sizemore of attempting stolen bases. "I feel good running. I think, honestly, it's just one of those things that, when it comes to me, I'll have some attempts, but right now, it's just kind of getting the legs in shape. I'm not worried about steals right now. I feel good at full speed. It's kind of the other stuff that I want to focus on right now."

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