John Farrell: Red Sox won't be rushing Grady Sizemore

Rob Bradford
January 22, 2014 - 6:15 pm

Talking after the Red Sox' annual Town Hall (this year conducted at Northeastern University), Sox manager John Farrell explained that newly acquired Grady Sizemore will be eased back into action after missing the majority of the last two years due to knee issues. Here is what Farrell -- who served as the Indians farm director when Sizemore played in the Cleveland organization -- had to say. With your history with Sizemore, what were your conversations like leading into the signing? "We had a brief conversation, but it was more about getting a comfort level with what he'€™s come off of with the knee injury and surgery, the opportunity and the need to create further depth with our roster. Knowing who he is as a person and a player, yeah, that certainly aided our comfort level. Comfort level being he'€™s going to do whatever'€™s in his power to come back from what he'€™s gone through physically. We'€™re certainly excited to have Grady in the mix." What will you do about your perceived excess of outfielders? "We added Grady because one, he'€™s available and two, it provides some competition. And yet we have to see once we get to spring training, Grady'€™s tolerance physically and what the -- we don'€™t have a projected number of games that we look at that he might be available for. We have to gradually build that up, build his endurance up. That'€™s how spring training will be spent with him." What do you know about his health and what he'€™s been able to do/not do? "I know he'€™s running right now. Whether there'€™s been a lot of work with change of direction, I think that'€™s the next step in his progression. But straight away speed, it feels like he'€™s at 90, 90-plus percent. He'€™s swinging the bat every day, he'€™s thrown. "The one thing he hasn't done in a couple of years has been on the field for any length of time, or reps had in center field or at the plate. We feel like he'€™s making good progress health-wise, otherwise we wouldn't have signed him to the deal we did." Will you be bringing him along slowly in spring training? "I think what we have to do is get a read on where he'€™s at from a baseball standpoint, does that project to be ready Opening Day, is more time needed. Those are things we'€™ll adjust to as we get into spring training, particularly the games." What does this mean for Jackie Bradley? "It doesn't take Jackie out of the mix at all. There'€™s questions that we have to answer in spring training with our roster. So the fact of Grady signing and being added to our roster doesn't remove Jackie from [consideration]. I think one of the things that Ben and all of us have set out to [do] in these final weeks before spring training is add to the depth of our team, and Grady certainly does that right now."