Jackie Bradley Jr.’s status was a non-stop topic for the Boston Red Sox during spring training that culminated with Bradley making the opening-day roster against the New York Yankees to a ton of fanfare with the local and national media.
Less than a month later, Bradley was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket with almost no mention, lost in the wake of David Ortiz‘s return to the big club. After doing well in the opening series against the Yankees, Bradley struggled to the point of batting .097 in 31 at-bats before being sent down.
Keeping Bradley to start the season was the right move, it sent the message to everyone in the dugout and all of the fans that the Red Sox felt they could win this year. Service time issues shouldn’t be an issue.
To the Red Sox benefit, Boston got off to a great start while Bradley struggled, allowing the team to demote him back to Triple-A and let Bradley get some at-bats in a less pressurized environment.
Given the early season slump of Jonny Gomes combined with the nagging injury to Shane Victorino, it is likely that Bradley will be needed at some point this summer. As much as it might have been painful to watch Bradley look overmatched towards the end of his initial time in the majors, it will benefit him in the long run.
The strong start to the Red Sox’ season has given hope that this team can be in contention all year and bringing up a seasoned Bradley from the minors to help this summer will be exactly what the Red Sox need.
Enjoy the Red Sox’ hot start to the season and keep an eye on top prospects like Bradley in the minors. When Bradley is ready to help later this year, he’ll have a big impact on the team.