In a camp with Derek Jeter and Masahiro Tanaka — and Jacoby Ellsbury and CC Sabathia and Carlos Beltran and … — Scott Sizemore is pretty easy to overlook. He’s a relatively small name with baseball’s biggest team, but he’s come to spring training with a chance to play a role in the big leagues as a platoon third baseman and a potential backup at second.
“(The Yankees) seemed like they had a need for me, and they had a lot of interest in bringing me in,” Sizemore said. “To me that just said that they had a plan for me possibly, so if I could show that I’m healthy and can get back on the field and perform like I need to, they said I should have a shot to help the big team out at some point this year.”
The key phrase here might be, “at some point.”
Although Sizemore said he’s hoping to ready to play in the first game of the spring, it’s clear that he’s still working through some rehabilitation after tearing his ACL in each of the past two years.
“Obviously I want to show the staff that I’m healthy and ready to go,” Sizemore said. “But at the same time, you have to be smart and realize this is a 162-game season, and I’m not going to be able to get it all in early. So I just have to kind of balance it out, talk with the training staff, the strength coaches, and just communicate with them the best I can how I’m feeling and what they think I should be doing. Kind of put my trust in them, and I think my body will take care of itself.”
Sizemore seems like a pretty good fit for the Yankees needs. He’s hit .272/.357/.422 against big league lefties in his career, and he has plenty of experience at both second and third, but he’s hardly played the past two years because of nearly identical ACL injuries. Sizemore said he feels healthy, but he also hasn’t done a ton to test it.
“Physically I think I’m pretty much there,” he said. “But just getting back into game speed, game mode, probably going to take a little bit of time.”
Sizemore can opt out of his contract, but not until May 1, so he will accept an assignment to Triple-A if he doesn’t break camp with the Yankees.
“If they have a need for me, if someone goes down, then I’d like to be the next guy they call on to step in and fill that gap,” Sizemore said.
Associated Press photo