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It’s official: Grady Sizemore makes Red Sox Opening Day roster

03.28.14 at 11:18 am ET

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Prior to his team’s second-to-last spring training game, Friday morning, Red Sox manager John Farrell announced that Grady Sizemore will be the Opening Day starter in center field.

The 31-year-old Sizemore — who hasn’t played a major league game since Sept. 22, 2011 – beat out Jackie Bradley Jr., who will begin the 2014 season with Triple-A Pawtucket.

Sizemore is coming off a stretch in which he played three straight games for the first time this spring training, entering Friday with a .333 batting average and .842 OPS in 42 Grapefruit League plate appearances.

The outfielder has consistently noted how he hadn’t experienced any setbacks throughout his comeback, crediting the plan (and treatment) presented by Red Sox physical therapist Dan Dyrek.

Farrell said early on in the season Sizemore wouldn’t be counted on to hit leadoff, despite manning the spot for the majority of his career. The reasoning for the drop in the order, according the manager, is to help limit the physical toll on Sizemore as he eases back into major league shape.

Bradley Jr. struggled for much of the spring, heading into Friday’s game with a Grapefruit League batting average of .158, striking out 17 times and drawing just three walks.

Related Grady Sizemore content:

Bradford: How Grady Sizemore finally landed with Red Sox

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Bradford: Now Red Sox need to find out how good Grady Sizemore can be

Audio: Grady Sizemore joins Dale and Holley

Speier: How is he doing this? Taking stock of Grady Sizemore’s spring revelation

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