Scott Sizemore came to Tampa this spring hoping to revitalize his career on the bench of the New York Yankees. He has done a nice job thus far, fighting his way back from serious injuries, but will it be enough to crack the opening day squad? Joe Girardi isn’t so sure.
The Yankees’ skipper summed up Sizemore’s chances in three simple words. “I don’t know.” While you certainly can’t argue the fact that Girardi has a way with words, you can argue that the Yankees need Sizemore to get healthy and capture a spot on the Yankees roster. He provides depth at multiple infield positions and once showed some nice pop in his bat.
Sizemore was brought to Tampa as a non-roster invitee. Early in his career he showed potential as a second and third baseman for first the Detroit Tigers and then the Oakland Athletics. In 2012 his career took an unfortunate turn. He missed the entire 2012 season after tearing his ACL and was only able to log two games in the 2013 season after he tore the ACL once again. His attempted 2014 comeback has not been an easy transition.
Rehabbing the leg now has Sizemore struggling with another problem in his attempted comeback. His right quadriceps “has bothered bothered him a little bit,” Girardi told reporters. “You’re going to favor it.” It has limited Sizemore to just seven games this spring as he has tallied 3 hits in 12 at-bats while scoring 3 runs.
The competition is fierce. They are younger than Sizemore and are having fantastic springs on top of it. Eduardo Nunez has the advantage of experience with the Yankees’ ball club. Yangervis Solarte and Zelous Wheeler are youngsters who are both having a good Grapefruit League showing. Dean Anna was acquired via trade from the Padres to provide infield depth, but he has been struggling with the bat. So the final infield spot is still an open competition.
Sizemore would be a great fit if he can work his way back. The Yankees have no true back-up for Mark Teixeira at first base. Projected every day third baseman, Kelly Johnson, is slated to also serve as Tex’s back-up. The Yankees will need an experienced hand at the hot corner should Johnson need to step in at first for an extended time. Sizemore also has valuable experience at second base. Brian Roberts, fighting his way back from his own injuries, is expected to start the season as the second baseman. Now 36 and injury-prone, Roberts will need his days off as well. Sizemore can slide right into the position.
His future with the Yankees depends on what he can show over the last week and a half of spring training. Sizemore has been taking grounders, batting practice, and playing in games more frequently now. The odds are stacked against him at this point, but I wouldn’t count Sizemore out just yet.