Sizemore won't hit leadoff much if on the roster

Sizemore won't hit leadoff much if on the roster
March 27, 2014, 4:15 pm
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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- While it's widely assumed that Grady Sizemore will be the Red Sox regular center fielder when the season opens Monday -- an official confirmation on that won't come until Friday -- manager John Farrell made something of a surprising announcement Thursday, revealing that if Sizemore makes the club, he won't hit leadoff much.
     
"We look at those top spots in the lineup as on-base (ability) being the most important (factor),'' said Farrell. "And we also factor in that if it were to be Grady, there's a potential of one more at-bat (hitting at the top of the order) every single night. And how does that affect him, given the amount of time off.
     
"I think we'd probably see him in that No. 5 or 6 range in the lineup initially. Again, we want to take advantage of (Daniel) Nava's on-base abilities, and what Shane (Victorino) does in the No. 2 hole. So that's what's going into (the decision).''
     
At least early in the season, Nava will hit leadoff against righties and either Victorino or Jonny Gomes are the choices against lefties.
     
"I'm not going to say that Grady's never going to lead off,'' said Farrell. "But we're balancing the time missed, the strengths of our roster and what's the best alignment.''