Boston, MA (SportsNetwork.com) - Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell announced on Friday that Grady Sizemore has earned the starting job in center field and prospect Jackie Bradley Jr. will be sent to Triple-A Pawtucket.
Boston rolled the dice in the offseason, signing the injury-prone outfielder to a one-year, $750,000 contract. That gamble paid off as Sizemore, 31, hit .333 with a homer and six RBI in 42 spring training at-bats.
"He's humble," said Farrell of Sizemore's reaction to making the opening day roster. "He's taken this in stride and is extremely grateful for the training staff."
Sizemore hasn't played in the majors since 2011 due to multiple injuries and surgeries. He has undergone seven surgeries since the '09 season.
"This is a rarity," said Farrell of Sizemore missing the last two seasons and making the roster. "This speaks to his work ethic and his athleticism."
Before the injuries, Sizemore was one of baseball's premier outfielders during his time with the Cleveland Indians. He hit .290 while leading the majors in runs (134), doubles (53) and extra-base hits (92) in 2006. With 11 triples and 28 home runs that year, Sizemore became just the fourth player with a 50- double, 10-triple, 25-homer season.
He followed that with a pair of Gold Glove campaigns. From 2006-09, he ranked second in the American League with 426 runs scored and 276 extra-base hits.
Sizemore is a lifetime .269 hitter with 216 doubles, 43 triples, 139 homers, 458 RBI, 134 stolen bases and 601 runs scored in 892 games -- all with Cleveland -- from 2004-11. He was named an American League All-Star in each of his last three full seasons from 2006-08.
Bradley has hit just .158 with five RBI in 61 at-bats this spring.
In 37 games with the Red Sox last season, Bradley hit .189 with three homers and 10 RBI.