Jackie Bradley Jr. Not Ready to be Everyday Player Just Yet
The Boston Red Sox are poised to have Jackie Bradley Jr. be their Opening Day starting centerfielder because they lost Jacoby Ellsbury to the New York Yankees. I believe he is not ready yet and that the Red Sox are wise to look to add another outfielder to the mix. They currently have the Daniel Nava-Jonny Gomes platoon, as well as Shane Victorino and Mike Carp. Carp is able to fill several positions which make him an ideal bench player for the world champion Red Sox.
The possibility of adding yet another player to the mix seems like the best choice because it will make Bradley Jr. have to prove in Spring Training that he is the right man for the job. One of the names that keeps popping up is Scott Podsednik, who played for the Red Sox a couple of years ago and despite being 38 years old, still has a point to prove. GM Ben Cherington will definitely find an interesting option and grant him an invitation to Spring Training.
I like what Bradley brings to the table, but I don’t think he is quite ready yet. Red Sox manager John Farrell seems to think that he is and is willing to let him fight it out in order to prove it. Replacing Ellsbury and everything he brings to the table will not be easy and Bradley sure has his work cut out for him. Bradley is not a natural base stealer like Ellsbury and will definitely not be fighting to be the Red Sox leadoff hitter. Victorino and Nava seem to be the best options to leadoff for the 2014 Boston Red Sox.
If Bradley is the right player, he must step up and prove it with his bat in Spring Training. We all know what he can do with his glove, but it is his bat that has to do the speaking for him. I trust Farrell and Cherington, but I can’t help but think that Bradley is not good enough to fill such an important position. Only time will tell.