Sizemore starts in right field for first time

Sizemore starts in right field for first time
April 19, 2014, 12:45 pm
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BOSTON -- Another day, another new lineup for the Red Sox.

Because of injuries at different positions and a rotating carousel of outfielders, manager John Farrell has tweaked his lineup almost daily. 

Saturday's most notable alteration comes at the very top: Grady Sizemore is leading off and playing in right field. It's the first time in his career that Sizemore is starting in right field, and it comes in the expansive, tricky plot at Fenway Park.

Sizemore was in left field for the first time at Fenway on Friday night in an 8-4 loss to the Orioles.

Farrell said that he hasn't been bouncing Sizemore around different spots in the outfield in order to see where he might be comfortable. Rather, Farrell explained, playing Sizemore in right gives the team the best offensive and defensive combinations for the team's lineup on Saturday.

"I wouldn't say it's about taking different looks at him," Farrell said. "Mike Carp is swinging the bat well. Jackie [Bradley Jr.] has solidified defense in center field for us. With Grady, it's a matter of pushing him over and using his range a little bit more than Mike Carp's would be in right field."

Carp is starting in left field and hitting fifth against Orioles starter Bud Norris. Bradley Jr., who turned 24 on Saturday, is hitting ninth and playing center for the ninth consecutive game.

Farrell said that because of Sizemore's athleticism, the Red Sox are comfortable playing him in either corner outfield spot. They expect him to play both left and right field "with equal effectiveness," the manager insisted.

Saturday will be Sizemore's fifth straight game played. He was used as a late-game replacement on Thursday in Chicago, but he played all 14 innings on Wednesday in a 6-4 win. In the last four days, he's played a total of 33 innings.

Though tentative with Sizemore's usage early this season, the Red Sox have been pleased with his physical progression.

"He's responded well," Farrell said. "There's been days when he's had an off day where he's felt like he can continue on. All of those are positive signs."