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Gabe Kapler on M&M: ‘I would play [Grady] Sizemore every day’

02.28.14 at 2:17 pm ET
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Fox Sports baseball analyst Gabe Kapler joined Mut & Merloni on Friday afternoon to talk about Grady Sizemore and the Red Sox. To listen to the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

Sizemore, whom the Red Sox acquired in January, played in his first game in nearly 900 days Thursday when he appeared in the leadoff spot against Northeastern.

“If he proved to me in spring training that he could bounce back day after day, day in and day out, and he was healthy going into the season, I would start Jackie Bradley Jr., in Triple-A,” Kapler said. “I would play Sizemore every day until he proved it wasn’t going to happen and then I’d leave him off and feel very, very confident that he would be productive.

“I would be opposed to starting Jackie Bradley Jr.’s clock. That’s just me and the way I approach it considering the upside potential of what happens if Grady Sizemore is even 70 percent of what he was earlier in his career. I think the upside is so strong and the downside is so small. In other words, if he’s not healthy, then Jackie Bradley Jr., slides right in, but this is really about Grady Sizemore‘s ability to come back on a day game after a night game, for example, and just prove that he can play every day.

“If he’s able to prove that he can do that, for me, he’s a center fielder.”

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On extending David Ortiz‘s contract: “He was as good last year as he was in 2003 and 2004 both from his offensive metric standpoint and from a WAR perspective — wins above replacement. So he, essentially, if you take David Ortiz and replace him with an entry level or replacement level player, you are losing roughly 3 1/2 to four wins, so theoretically on the open market if we determine that a win is worth roughly $6 million, which it sort of has been over the last couple of years, then you’€™re looking at a guy in Ortiz’s worth in excess of $20 million. … David Ortiz has done enough for this franchise that probably warrants one more year on his contract.’€

On extending Jon Lester‘s contract: “He’s basically run a WAR between four and five over the course of [2008-13] so that puts him right in that conversation. … The thing that really excites me about Jon Lester, when you look back at his peak velocity, let’€™s say in September or so of 2008, he’€™s even not that far off in September of last year. So maybe a tick down in velocity between 93, 94 miles an hour and Jon Lester is maintaining his strength. He’s still commanding the strike zone.”

On the new home plate collision rule: “I don’t love it. … I think there was a way to protect the catchers from concussions but still allow us to go in there and get a good lick on him. And I don’t mean running out of the baseline to try to take him out. All I mean is claiming home plate, and that may mean getting an opportunity to hit a catcher between his shoulders and the knees to protect his head a little bit, but at the same time maintain the integrity of the game.”

Read More: David Ortiz, grady sizemore, Jon Lester,
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