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And the Red Sox CF winner is: Sizemore
Sizemore, 31, has not played at any level in two years and has had seven surgeries since 2009. However, he passed every physical test this spring and is batting .333 with a home run in the Grapefruit League.
“He looks very good physically,” Farrell said. “Left-handed and right-handed pitching, he had a good swing. He’s in a good place.”
“I’m happy to be in the lineup, no matter where I’m at,” he said. “I’m not going to change my approach, whether it’s leadoff or fifth or wherever.”
Nava to lead off
The defense of the Red Sox World Series title will begin with Daniel Nava.
Manager John Farrell on Thursday anointed the left fielder with the exceptional on-base ability the team’s primary leadoff hitter, at least to start the season. That means he’ll be digging into the box first against Baltimore’s Chris Tillman on Monday when the Red Sox open the season.
“I’m not trying to be Jacoby Ellsbury,” he said. “That’s safe to say. There’s only one Ells. He’s a very talented player. I’m just going to be myself. I think I’ve learned enough to know that when I’m not myself is when I get myself in trouble. I do need to be more aggressive on the bases and that’s something we’ve been working on this spring, which has been evident by getting picked off a lot.”
“It doesn’t mean that I have to steal 20 or 30 or even 10,” he said. “It’s just a mentality. I’m trying to be more aggressive as a baserunner, because there are things on the bases I need to get better at. I need to be more attentive of situations.
Along these lines, Nava was asked about two plays from last season — both against the Rays — that highlighted the good and bad of his baserunning.
“I was just hyped up on Mountain Dew,” Nava joked. “No, it’s taking that mentality and approaching every opportunity like that. I think it’s easier in times like that where you’re like, game on the line, two outs, I’ve got to get going. You never know what one run can mean.”
Stephen Drew followed with a double to right, but Nava, believing the ball could be caught, retreated toward second and had no momentum to try to score. He ended up on third and was wrongly signaled out one play later on a blown call at the plate.
“I learned a lesson,” Nava said. “Now I have my things I lock in on more. It was an area that I wasn’t as attentive to as I needed to be. Unfortunately, it cost us a win. We were able to win the World Series, but you never know what one win or loss can do to a season.”
Mike Napoli hit his fourth homer of spring training and Felix Doubront pitched five shutout innings as the Red Sox beat the Twins, 4-0, on Friday in Fort Myers, Fla. Doubront scattered seven hits and two walks.
Jake Peavy starts for Boston today at 1 p.m. against the Twins in Fort Myers. It is the teams’ final Grapefruit League game.