Grady Sizemore watch: 'I don't feel like it's been two or three years'

Rob Bradford
March 11, 2014 - 1:14 pm

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Before Tuesday'€™s game against the Marlins, John Farrell uttered these words when asked his perception of Grady Sizemore thus far: "€œNot far off where the familiarity with him back in Cleveland. But ..." He then continued. '"You temper that past impression because of what he'€™s endured and the physical challenges he'€™s had to overcome. What'€™s stood out this spring is his timing at the plate. You'€™d think he would'€™ve needed a greater number of at-bats to have the timing that he'€™s shown right now. And that'€™s extremely encouraging. That'€™s the one thing that has stood out. Throughout our medical exam, prior to signing him, we felt like he was a good bet to have every opportunity to get back on the field and maintain that. To what level of games played, we don'€™t know that. Still, the thing that has stood out is how he'€™s swung the bat and the timing he'€™s shown at the plate." Eight hours later, and one 5-4 Miami Grapefruit League win over the Red Sox later, nothing had changed. Sizemore continued to impress in his comeback from major knee surgery '€“ and not playing for the past two seasons '€“ this time playing back-to-back games for the first time this spring without incident. Sizemore got two at-bats, while continuing to offer encouragement with his speed both on the basepaths and in the outfield. It'€™s not perfect, but at this point, it doesn'€™t have to be. "€œI feel good, but not great,"€ Sizemore said. "€œMy timing feels off. It feels a little rusty. But I don'€™t feel like it'€™s been two or three years. I feel like it'€™s just another spring training where it'€™s early where you'€™re just trying to get a hold of things and get that rhythm down. I still feel like I have a long way to go. It'€™s not quite where I would like it to be and I want to fine-tune some things." The outfielder, and the Red Sox, understand there'€™s a ways to go before plans can be made for penciling Sizemore into the Opening Day lineup. But for all parties involved, each day has brought increased optimism. "€œI wasn'€™t all that curious about it," Sizemore said regarding playing on consecutive days. "I felt confident knowing it was going to be a pretty normal day. If I had any questions or doubt, I probably wouldn'€™t have been out there. But I felt strong it was going to be fine and it wasn'€™t going to be an issue. "Things have been going good. I'€™m happy with how the body feels and how I'€™ve been able to push and add more each day." He will not look forward to his next test, coming Thursday against the Twins. "So far every time we'€™ve pushed a little bit more I'€™ve responded well," said Sizemore. '€œObviously we'€™re going to try and add more and find that threshold, work toward it but not get past it. "Just keep working on timing, get some rhythm down, just see more pitches and get more at-bats. I want more reps, get out there and see as many pitches as I can, get as many at-bats as I can and just try and feel comfortable."