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Despite slow spring, Jackie Bradley, Jr. likely to start in center

Mar 15, 2014, 9:05 PM EDT

Jackie Bradley Jr. AP

Jackie Bradley, Jr. has all of five hits in Grapefruit League play through 30 at-bats, but he is still on track to be the starting center fielder for the Red Sox when they break camp and head north at the end of March, according to Jason Mastrodonato of Masslive.com. Veteran Grady Sizemore, starting Saturday evening’s game against the Phillies, is also competing for playing time and is hitting .306 in 13 at-bats, but the Red Sox seem likely to side with youth in this case.

Bradley, 23, struggled in a brief taste of big league action last year, hitting .189 in 107 plate appearances. Taken in the first round of the 2011 draft, Bradley was rated one of baseball’s best prospects across the board entering last season.

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  1. tfbuckfutter - Mar 15, 2014 at 9:28 PM

    Hopefully he can put it together, and they at least give him a fair shot if he struggles (See Pedroia in ’07).

    But it’s nice to have Grady there as a second option, and to not be counting on him to be a full time player and to have a rebound season (Although if JBJ can’t hack it yet, and Grady does return to his peak performance that’d be cool too).

  2. tc4306 - Mar 15, 2014 at 9:43 PM

    Unlikely they can keep both on the roster.
    Gomes, Carp, Ross and a backup infielder would make up the bench.

    Choice seems to be between starting Bradley in AAA
    and trying to trade Sizemore or get him through waivers.

    Not sure whether or not Sizemore’s contract
    allows him to become a FA
    if he is not on the MLB roster on opening day.

    • dlhouse18 - Mar 16, 2014 at 12:49 AM

      Trying to trade Sizemore? C’mon man…

    • dan1111 - Mar 16, 2014 at 3:57 AM

      You’re right that they have too many outfielders. But why sign Sizemore if there was no space for him on the roster? This was a completely foreseeable problem.

      I think that, if all are healthy and ready to start the season, another outfielder is likely to be traded. Probably Carp, but maybe Gomes or Nava.

  3. slaugin - Mar 15, 2014 at 10:39 PM

    I know to some Sox fans this is Blasphemy but I could do without Gomes

    • tfbuckfutter - Mar 15, 2014 at 11:02 PM

      I wouldn’t mind him hanging around as an assistant coach or….like….ball boy or whatever.

      But I have no use for seeing him in a game. (Although I am surprised to see that he actually finished last season with a decent OPS+)

  4. nsstlfan - Mar 16, 2014 at 5:48 AM

    Tc4306….. Sizemore’s contract was a major league contract and not a minor league one so doubtful they added a clause like that in it.

  5. cubsisles72 - Mar 16, 2014 at 6:29 AM

    Cut Carp….not great defense, can’t run, and looks lost as anyone in the batter’s box as I’ve ever seen

    • toodrunktotastethischicken - Mar 16, 2014 at 7:37 AM

      In limited action he had a solid season as a part timer last year, no way they cut him. Adds depth at 1B and the corner OF positions. If anything could potentially be a trade piece for a 1B savvy time, Pirates or the Brewers perhaps.

      • toodrunktotastethischicken - Mar 16, 2014 at 7:37 AM

        team not time dangit.

  6. ez4u2sa - Mar 16, 2014 at 6:29 AM

    Yeah, it’s possible Bradley starts in center but Sizemore is going to push him hard. If that continues, the Sox will try to get all they can out of Sizemore, even if it means Bradley has to sit.

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