So much for Mike Maddux teaching Gio Gonzalez how to throw strikes, eh?
C'mon, I kid.
Since Scott Sizemore is doing his best Bryce Harper impression with three homers so far this spring, with one on Wednesday in an 11-5 loss to the Detroit Tigers, I thought we'd take a closer look at the non-roster invitee to see how he might benefit the Nats this season, other than manning second base for the Syracuse Chiefs this summer.
He's 6 for 11 so far with those three homers, 5 RBIs and a stolen base. That translates to .545/.615/2.161. That kind of stat line is fun to type out regardless of how few plate appearances it represents.
Sizemore is an interesting guy. He came up with Tigers and in his first full season in the bigs at age 26, in 2011, was dealt to the Oakland Athletics for nondescript reliever David Purcey. Despite being traded, Sizemore had a legitimately good year. He hit .245/.342/.399 with 11 homers and 56 RBIs playing passable defense at second and third. The A's really liked him.
Then he got hurt. He spent all of 2012 and most of 2013 having ACL surgery then rehabilitating. He played two games for the A's in '13, and six for the New York Yankees in 2014. He hasn't been in the bigs since.
In '14 he hit .266/.329/.433 for AAA-Scranton, then started last season with AAA-New Orleans in the Marlins system, hitting .223/.343/.301 before getting released in July. That's not too good.
He latched on with Syracuse toward the end of the season, though, and hit .426/.481/.574 (you read that right) over 54 plate appearances. Small sample size, and all, but whoa. He became a free agent at the end of the season, but the Nats must have seen something they liked since they re-signed him almost immediately.
Sizemore will probably do nothing but play second base in Syracuse, collecting paychecks to play a game he still loves at an age where he probably still doesn't have too many aches and pains the next morning. Like so many others in triple-A, he'll cling to the hope of making it back to "The Show" for another chance at big league glory.
Who knows, maybe the Nats have a couple of injuries in the middle infield and Sizemore gets to add a few weeks to his pension like Emmanuel Burris did last summer. Regardless, you gotta pull for a guy that looked like he had a decent career ahead of him, only to have it wrecked by a devastating injury.
At least he's still plugging away, and good for him.