TAMPA, Fla. - Infielder Scott Sizemore was reduced to a baseball spectator the past two seasons after tearing and re-tearing the ACL in his left knee.
Sizemore arrived Monday at the Yankees' facility, where he has been working out all week with Derek Jeter, among others, fielding ground balls at second and third base and hoping to show he's in good enough shape physically to earn a roster spot. Earlier this year, Sizemore signed a minor-league contract with the Yankees.
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"We're trying to kind of take it slow. That way I can prepare myself for the long haul, try to stay healthy and on the field this year," he said.
Sizemore, 29, hit .245 with 11 home runs and 56 RBIs for the Tigers and A's in 2011. He lost the 2012 season after tearing his ACL in February, then played two games for the A's in 2013 before reinjuring the knee May 10. He had season-ending surgery six days later.
"To have it happen so early in the year, obviously doubts crept into my mind if I was ever going to play again," he said. "I kind of knew what to expect the second time around, so I really pushed myself even harder, being that I figured this was probably my last go-round if [the knee] wasn't going to come back."
Outfielder Tyler Austin played through a bone contusion and strained ligaments in his right wrist for Double-A Trenton last season. The results were less than stellar (.257, six homers in 83 games) for a player ranked as one of the Yankees' best prospects.
Now healthy, Austin, 22, is ready to put last season's setback behind him.
"I went in [to Double-A], I don't know, not as humble as I should have been and got my butt kicked, to say the least," Austin said. "I definitely learned a lot . . . and I'm excited to get back and see that again."
Mason Williams, another highly regarded outfield prospect, helped Trenton win the 2013 Eastern League title. Said the 22-year-old: "I'm starting to get a little selfish with the rings and get as many as I can and hopefully fill up all my fingers."
Jeter extends range
Jeter showed more movement during fielding practice Thursday at the Yankees' facility. He fielded nine grounders from the infield grass and 32 from normal depth, ranging farther to his left and right than in previous workouts, with no noticeable discomfort.