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Daniel Nava on M&M: ‘I don’t think I’ve seen [Grady Sizemore] take an at-bat where he’s seemed overmatched’

03.14.14 at 3:16 pm ET
By
Daniel Nava

Daniel Nava

Red Sox left fielder Daniel Nava joined Mut & Merloni on Friday to discuss center fiedler Grady Sizemore and spring training. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

Nava and Sizemore both trained with Mark Verstegen at Athletes’ Performance in Arizona during the offseason.

“I didn’€™t see a guy struggling at all,” Nava said of his time working out at the same facility with Sizemore. “He’€™s quiet, but he works extremely hard and [he's] extremely diligent. He gets after his work in a very professional way, which is kind of what you would expect given his track record. Up until those injuries, he played the game right. He played the game hard, and he’€™s very good at it.”

So far during spring training, Nava said Sizemore appears to be right on track despite missing two seasons.

“His instincts are right back almost like he’€™s been playing the whole time,” Nava said. “He had a ball in the dirt and it may have scooted away from the catcher’s foot, but was right in front of him and [Sizemore] took that base like he never missed a beat.

“Everyone understands the timing at the plate is going to take a little time, but the instincts are still there. He still has that stuff and you can’t fake that. That’s something you have or you don’€™t have, and I don’t think I’ve seen him take an at-bat where he’€™s seemed overmatched at all.”

Following are more highlights from the interview. For more Red Sox news, visit the team page at weei.com/redsox.

On Stephen Drew: “I think more or less in the beginning when maybe February rolled around, it definetly was, ‘I wonder what was going to happen. I wonder what’€™s going to happen.’ Xander [Bogaerts] is taking ground balls at short and third — you’ve got to be prepared for both. Will [Middlebrooks] is taking ground balls at third. … I think it hasn’t gone through my head in the longest time. Our shortstop is Xander. Third baseman is Will. I don’€™t think anyone’€™s questioning that because we’re pretty much down to crunch time where we’re ready to lock in and get things going.

“I would be surprised if anything happens from any other signings or shortstop or anything like that. We’€™re content with who we have because we know we’ve got talented guys on the left side of the infield.”

On potentially taking the leadoff spot: “We’€™re just looking at different options. That’s what I would expect [John Farrell] to do with the loss of Jacoby Ellsbury. I mean, everyone’s aware that we have a couple different candidates, but no one’€™s been locked in — ‘This is who’€™s going to be our leadoff guy.’ It’€™s probably just going to be based off health, based off the given day and the matchup.”

On taking on different roles in the lineup: “I’€™m just trying to work on feeling comfortable in the box, almost embracing being uncomfortable. It’s a good way to start forcing yourself to being comfortable whether I’m first, left, or right or batting order batting lead off, sixth or fifth. It doesn’t really matter, because I’m not exactly in a place where I’€™m worried about any of that stuff.

“I’m just focused on getting comfortable getting my feet back underneath me.”

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