When Jacoby Ellsbury left the Boston Red Sox to join the Evil Empire, one of the big questions that many members of Red Sox Nation asked was “who would be batting leadoff?”
One of the solutions sounded like it could be Daniel Nava. While he isn’t nearly as fast as Ellsbury, he is an on-base machine and that can work just as well from the leadoff spot. Wade Boggs was one of the best leadoff hitters of his generation and it wasn’t because he was fast — it was more because he could get on base a lot. However, Nava went 0-for-5 on Opening Day and one has to wonder how long he will be in that position.
The reason why I think that he could have a reasonably short tenure at the top of the order is because of the remarkable resurgence of Grady Sizemore. Not only does he look like the dynamic talent from about five years ago, he is playing like he is back in his prime. Who knows how long this will last, but it might make sense to capitalize on his abilities while he is out on the field.
John Farrell has made it clear that he isn’t going to have Sizemore batting leadoff. One can understand that having not seen any game action in the last two years, he needs some time to get his feet wet. However, if Nava continues to struggle and Sizemore continues to meet every physical challenge coming his way, he might be the much better solution.
Sizemore can impact a game in so many ways. He isn’t quite as fast as Ellsbury, but he can still steal 20-30 bases. It might be time to take the kid gloves off of Sizemore.