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If you made it big in the restaurant industry, you got a Chef’s Table. 

At Fantasy Alarm we have one too. Expect here you don’t need a reservation. Or a fat stack to pay for it. 

The best part about the Chef’s Table is that you get to watch the preparation of your food from start to finish. Seeing every intricate detail that goes into your dish while enjoying the company of family and friends. Well, that’s what I’m gonna give you here.

Each week I will profile a player based on their increased street cred throughout the industry.  Whether because of a recent hot streak, increased playing time or a promotion because of an injury. From there I will break down the recipe for that player’s success and determine if he is just a flash in the pan or someone who is gonna bring home the bacon.

Today’s Special: Grady Sizemore

His journey back to the big leagues has been one of the biggest feel-good stories of the year. After being away from the game for more than two years, Sizemore was given a chance by the Red Sox to try and salvage what was left of his career. Not only did he make the squad out of Spring Training, but was anointed the starting center fielder on Opening Day.

In his first game action since 2011, Sizemore went 2-for-4 with a home run in the Red Sox loss to the Orioles. I know it was only one game, but for Sizemore it was a big accomplishment considering the battle he withstood to make it back to the big leagues. Even more importantly he did not suffer an injury, which has been the story of his career up into this point.

Before you go runnin’ to place a stake on his services, let’s take a look at a few positives and negatives:

The Pros

  • Before becoming a walking injury concern, Sizemore recorded four straight seasons of 20/20 production, including reaching the 30/30 club in 2008.
  • He holds a career on-base percentage of .357 and averaged just shy of 78 walks from 2005-2009.
  • He came into camp looking physically like the Sizemore we knew from his days with the Indians.
  • By the end of Spring Training, he was able to play five games in six days, proving his knees are good enough for the everyday grind.
  • Manager John Farrell will slot him either in the fifth or sixth spot in the Red Sox lineup, which will give him plenty of opportunities for quality fantasy production.

The Cons

  • He has played in only 112 games since the end of 2009.
  • His injury history includes elbow surgery, back surgery, sports hernia surgery and microfracture knee surgeries.
  • Sizemore will not be the everyday center fielder initially rather the team will take a week-to-week approach and increase his workload.
  • His surgically repaired knees will limit his stolen base potential, taking away a tool that elevated him to the elite level pre-microfracture surgery.
  • The presence of Jackie Bradley Jr. The Red Sox view him as their future at center field. If Sizemore was to suffer an injury (which is likely) or experiences an extended slump, he may lose at-bats.

Wrap Up

While I think he is a great story up to this point, until I see how he contributes over a significant period of time I’m not buying in. Although it is not a common injury for baseball players, we often see players undergo microfracture knee surgery in professional basketball. When they return, they just aren’t the same. Not to mention it is a type of injury that can resurface at anytime leading to a lengthy stint on the disabled list.

Obviously those in AL-only leagues will want to acquire him if he wasn’t drafted, but mixed league players should really be cautious and take a wait-and-see approach. There are still 161 games left in the season. Let’s see where he stands after 10 games or more and go from there.  

Until next time, study hard and eat plenty!

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