Another key test aced by Bradley
Red Sox manager John Farrell didn’t hide the fact that he was giving prospect Jackie Bradley Jr. a key test on Sunday to make sure he’s ready for the challenge of being on the Opening Day roster. In Sunday’s road game against the Phillies, Bradley started in left field on a day the Red Sox were facing Cliff Lee, one of the toughest lefties in the Majors.
So what did Bradley do? In his first at-bat, he belted a three-run homer to left-center.
This as also Bradley’s first time starting in the same outfield as Jacoby Ellsbury and Shane Victorino. Bradley played two innings in left on Friday in Dunedin but this was his first start there since his freshman year of high school in 2005.
No decisions have been made, but the possibility seems to be growing by the day that Bradley will head North with the Red Sox and help fill the void left by David Ortiz Stephen Drew, who are all but certain to start the season on the disabled list.
“This is probably the best environment we could put him in on the road, away from our ballpark, going up against a very good pitcher. This will be a good day for him,” said Farrell.
Farrell can’t help but recall similarities to another spring he saw a top prospect win a job out of camp, helped by an injury to a key player. When Farrell was the Indians’ farm director in 2005, Grady Sizemore was optioned down to the Minors during Spring Training. However, Juan Gonzalez suffered in injury later in camp, and Sizemore broke camp with the Indians and became a star for many years, before injuries derailed him.
What does Farrell remember about Sizemore in the spring of 2005?
“That he was ready. As is the case many times, it’s out of the players’ control. But an injury opened up a spot for him.”
And that could again be happening in 2013.