Sizemore leading off for first time since 2011

Sizemore leading off for first time since 2011
April 5, 2014, 4:45 pm
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BOSTON -- Though the Red Sox have planned to take things slowly with Grady Sizemore as he attempts to regain an everyday role for the first time in about three years, they are progressively asking him more and more to do the things he once did.

On Saturday night against Brewers righty Wily Peralta, Sizemore will hit from the leadoff spot for the first time since 2011 when he was with the Indians.

"Grady with leadoff spot, he's obviously got on base here with some regularity," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "[He's] in a spot he's been familiar with his entire career -- give us a little bit of a spark at the top of the lineup."

Sizemore showed on Friday night that he still has plenty quickness and savvy on the base paths. In the second inning, he took second on a throwing error after slapping a single to right field. Moments later he timed Milwaukee starter Marco Estrada to swipe third base, his first steal of the season.

In three games this season, Sizemore is hitting .300 with an on-base percentage of .417 and an OPS of 1.017. Both Sizemore and Farrell reiterated on Friday that while Sizemore's workload will be increased slowly and steadily this season to help him deal with the grind of a long season, the plan is for him to eventually become an everyday player for the Red Sox.

Sizemore said Friday night that he feels healthy enough to be in the lineup everyday right now, but he is on board with the plan to incrementally bring him along.

The way his body has reacted to games played is just one reason why Farrell and the Red Sox feel comfortable hitting Sizemore first in their batting order just five games into the season.

"The aggressiveness with which he's running the bases, the frequency he's getting on base, all the above puts him in the spot tonight," Farrell explained.

"We'll continue to monitor how he comes out of each and every game and see where the best spot is for [him] and for our lineup."