Will Bradley Jr. be on Red Sox’s Opening Day roster?

Jackie Bradley Jr. has given the Red Sox reason to make a big decision this spring.
Jackie Bradley Jr. has given the Red Sox reason to make a big decision this spring.

Going into spring training the Red Sox had no thoughts about possibly having 22-year-old outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. on their Opening Day roster. The 40th overall pick in the 2011 draft hasn’t played any games past the AA level and has only been a professional for one full season.

Things have changed in Florida in the past few weeks, however, as Bradley Jr. has been on a tear, and coupled with a few injuries there is now serious consideration to having him on the major league roster come April 1.

Bradley Jr. was hitting .436 (17-for-39) with two doubles, a home run and four RBIs in 18 games this spring as of Tuesday. He also has a blistering on-base percentage of .551. Add in the injuries to David Ortiz and Stephen Drew, with their availability for Opening Day in question, and Bradley Jr. just may have a shot at making the big league club.

“Oh yeah,” Ortiz said to reporters in Fort Myers. “If he’s hitting .500, yes. I heard he’s a really good player. I haven’t been able to really watch him because they keep me indoors doing a whole bunch of things [to rehab two injured heels]. I heard he has skills. Never know.”

There are some long-term factors in regards to Bradley Jr., who was tabbed as Jacoby Ellsbury’s replacement if he were to sign with another team following this season. Because Bradley Jr. is not on the 40-man roster right now, if the Red Sox wait until April 12 (or after) to call him up, then the earliest he will be able to hit free agency is after the 2019 season. But if he is on the roster before April 12, he would hit free agency following the 2018 season.

If he were to be on the Opening Day roster, it wouldn’t necessarily mean playing everyday. The team is set with Jonny Gomes, Ellsbury and Shane Victorino in the outfield, but the team will need a DH if Ortiz is out of the lineup, which could be Gomes or Victorino from time-to-time.

With only 138 games of professional experience, none past the AA level, it is in the Red Sox’ best interest to start him in Pawtucket, then call him up at some point during the season. A guarantee of playing everyday is the best thing for the Sox’ top prospect, and add in the bonus of being under contract an extra year, this decision should be a no-brainer.

Follow Metro Boston Red Sox beat writer Ryan Hannable on Twitter @hannable84



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

NBA

NBA great LeBron James sends 800 cupcake apologies…

By Kim PalmerCLEVELAND (Reuters) - NBA star LeBron James, whose recent return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio sparked a frenzy…

NFL

Jerry Reese confident with Giants, skipping countdown clocks…

Last year, Giants GM Jerry Reese installed a countdown clock in the locker room to inspire Big Blue to play in their own stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII.

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.