Grady Sizemore: The Fallen Star

Some experts tabbed him as a preseason MVP candidate a few years ago. He is a three-time All-Star and was supposed to be the next great five-tool player in major league baseball. Unfortunately that seems like a thing of the past when it comes to Indians outfielder Grady Sizemore. Since, Sizemore has dealt with a number of injuries, he has struggled at the plate, and has not turned into the player it looked like he was destined to be. Now Sizemore is 28-years old, coming off back-to-back injury riddled seasons, and trying to bounce back after microfracture surgery. This kind of injury could be especially troublesome for Sizemore. A lot of his game was predicated on his speed. He had the ability to track down fly balls that very few other outfielders could get to, he had the ability to stretch singles into double and doubles into triples, and made a good living stealing bases. The Indians are hoping that his fall from star status doesn’t continue into this season, but whether or not Sizemore ever gets back to another All-Star game after all the issues he has had lately is merely just a guess right now. Half a decade ago, it seemed like a near certainty. Grady Sizemore joined ESPN 850 WKNR in Cleveland with Tony Rizzo to talk about how he feels coming off knee surgery, when he expects to be back in the lineup for the Indians, whether or not he feels like he can ever be the player he once was, and if he thinks Cleveland can be a good team this year and exceed expectations.

How he is progressing from his offseason surgery:

“Well good. The progression has been good. Obviously this has been a long rehab and I’m a little bit behind the rest of the guys, but I’m feeling good and I’m out there playing games now. It’s just a matter of getting the reps in.”

When he realistically expects to be back in the lineup:

“I’d say realistically sometime in mid-April. I think right around that it will give me about 25-30 games which is what I’m going to need. That’s what you get in an average spring training. Obviously I wanna be ready for opening day, but had I gone out there and tried to play opening day I would’ve only had a handful of games underneath me which wouldn’t be very smart considering what I went through. Try to get back as fast as I can. I feel good and I want to be out there right now, but I would say realistically sometime in mid-April.”

Whether or not he thinks he will get back to being the player he once was:

“Definitely. I don’t see any reason why I wouldn’t be able to get back to 100 percent. I think the knee is always going to feel a little something different, not necessarily going to restrict me or take away from what I had previously. It’s going to take some time. Even when I get back in April it’s going to be an adjustment period going every day and just getting used to the new knee.”

On the team being young and whether or not they can and what kind of expectations they have:

“Definitely. Anything can happen. We still have a long ways to go and we still have to get out there and execute and play well, but we still have some young talent and we have some veteran guys now too. Anything can happen. This is a funny game, we have some guys that play hard, play the game the right way, and we do have a lot of talent. You look at our lineup and I think it’s pretty stacked. It may not stand out at you and surprise some teams, but we’ve got the guys who know how to play the game the right way, we have some pitchers that are coming back and getting a little more experience. So it’s a fun team to watch and I think we can do some serious damage.”

On his name being thrown around as a potential tradable asset because his contract is winding down:

“Definitely happy here. There’s always going to speculation when you get towards the end of a contract, but for me I’m not focused on that. They haven’t talked to me about anything like that. I want to get healthy and get out there for this year, but I don’t see myself in any other uniform but a Cleveland uniform.”

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