For Grady Sizemore, slump comes with some perspective

April 30, 2014 - 5:13 pm

Slowly but surely, Grady Sizemore is getting back into the rhythm of playing baseball every day. Though his initial burst back onto scene has given way to subsequent struggle, Sizemore embraces every day that he is able to play baseball, despite the results. "It's just nice to be playing," Sizemore said. "Good to be back on the field and just getting back into playing ball. It's been a long time for me so I'm just enjoying every day." Sizemore started the year in dazzling fashion, hitting .364/.440/.591 with three extra base hits including one home run in six games, but has since hit .140/.200/.260 with a double, triple and home run apiece; he's amidst a 3-for-37 swoon in his last 10 games. Given that he hadn't played a single game in the last two years, perhaps it comes as little surprise that Sizemore's first month of 2014 presented challenges, both physically and on the field. "I don't know if there is one aspect that's more difficult than the other," Sizemore said. "Physically, it's kind of challenging to find a routine that's not too demanding, but enough to keep you healthy and get you ready for each game. Baseball-wise, it's just timing. Just getting used to playing every day and getting used to making adjustments and timing and the speed of the game." The recent slump has led Sizemore to tweak his approach at the plate, mostly through work in the video room. "You do whatever you can to try to make adjustments during the game, whatever it may be," Sizemore said. "You get a certain pitch or you're laying off balls in the zone, you try to find a way to get out of your slump and you try to make adjustments, get in the video room and see what you can find. For me, it's just a matter of getting good pitches and being on time." Through his daily routine, something left unchanged since his golden days with the Indians, Sizemore is trying to slow down the game and put a string of good games together. "It's been the same since I started playing ball," Sizemore said. "You do your early work and get as much reps as you can and then you just make adjustments on the fly. That's kind of what this game is. You play every day so you don't have time to fine tune too much so you slow the game down as much as you can." One of the challenges for Sizemore has been minimizing the number of days he doesn't feel as good physically. Sizemore has been working with the training staff every day to feel as good as possible, as often as possible. "I feel good," Sizemore said. "For me, it's a matter of being consistent. I'll have some good days and then I'll have some bad days and then it's just a matter of minimizing those bad days and trying to bounce back and make adjustments and be consistent." While he would like to be playing better, Sizemore is just happy to be back playing baseball. "Obviously, I'd like to be playing better," Sizemore said. "I'm happy that I'm out there and healthy enough to play and make adjustments."