BOSTON (CBS) – Brian MacPherson from The Providence Journal joined The Adam Jones Show Monday night to discuss the competition in center field the Red Sox have between Grady Sizemore and Jackie Bradley Jr., as well as Clay Buchholz’s new spot in the starting rotation.
By the sounds of it, it appears manager John Farrell is giving Sizemore every chance to win the job.
“They’re giving Sizemore a lot of opportunities. Whenever John Farrell is asked to handicap it, all he basically says is ‘We’re hoping to see what Sizemore can do.’ They’re gradually increasing his workload, giving him more chances, more at bats and they’re trying to see how he handles things durability-wise.”
However, despite Sizemore looking better than everyone expected, MacPherson says it’s not really a competition between he and Jackie Bradley Jr.
“It’s really more just a Grady Sizemore competition with his body, because if he’s able to hold up and looks like he can play everyday, or at least 4-5 days a week, then he’s probably going to be on the roster no matter what Jackie Bradley Jr. does.
“It’s not something where somebody will win or lose the job based on 40 at bats in spring training, they just need to see Grady Sizemore healthy and look like his old self. So far so good, but he’s still a ways to go because he hasn’t played back-to-back days yet.”
With that in mind, Adam Jones is of the opinion that John Farrell is not fully embracing the youth movement – something the Red Sox have been criticized about before in the past.
B-Mac doesn’t think that’s necessarily the case.
“John Farrell was a player development guy in Cleveland, that was his job before he became the Red Sox pitching coach. He understands youth movements. He even said the other day, and I’m paraphrasing, that ‘It’s really important we play our young guys,’ said MacPherson. “I think John Farrell has bought into the plan the Red Sox have, which is one of the reasons they wanted him. He works well with front office and understands what they’re trying to do long term.”
Speaking of plans, one thing the Red Sox are planning on is having Clay Buchholz as the #5 starter in their rotation.
Buchholz has the pitching repertoire and “stuff” of a #1 pitcher, but his injury history has moved him all the way back to a #5.
B-Mac discussed the move with Jones.
“They’re trying to be a little more careful and lighten his workload. It sort of shortens his season a little bit, but not by very much. He gets a little less work at the beginning, and maybe they do the same thing coming out of the All Star break depending on his health.
“They’re trying to get as much as they can out of Clay Buchholz. He doesn’t have a Justin Verlander, or even a Jon Lester body type. He’s not going to throw 250 innings, I think we know that – he may never throw 200 innings. So the mission for the Red Sox is to figure out how to get the most effective Clay Buchholz. It doesn’t mean he’s ‘the #5 starter’ it’s just the order in which he’s pitching.
“It’s an interesting plan,” MacPherson concluded.
Listen below for the full discussion: