SEATTLE -- The Red Sox called up center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. and Brandon Workman from Triple-A Pawtucket, placed reliever Alex Wilson on the disabled list with a sprained thumb, and optioned reliever Jose De La Torre to the minors.
Bradley was a little bleary-eyed in the visitor’s clubhouse hours after catching an early-morning flight to join the club in Seattle. He will hit ninth and play center field Tuesday night when the Sox face All-Star Hisashi Iwakuma at Safeco Field.
In 45 games in the International League, Bradley has hit .297 with seven home runs, three of which came last week on back-to-back nights.
"I'm enjoying playing the game that I love, just taking every day the same way and trying to be a professional about everything,” said Bradley, who is in his third stint with the big club. “I'm feeling really well and seeing pitches that I can handle.”
Daniel Nava will slide over to left field and Shane Victorino returns to right while he copes with a sore hamstring. Playing center Monday night, Nava struggled tracking fly balls and committed a throwing error that led to a Mariners run.
Farrell said Bradley is the natural fit to fill in for Jacoby Ellsbury while he continues to recover from a sprained wrist, given Safeco Field’s spacious dimensions (376 to left-center, 401 to center, 380 to right-center).
Ellsbury is expected to return during the four-game series with the Mariners.
Farrell said that Ellsbury "took some swings in the cage and felt like he was ready to go, even though there is still some soreness there. I felt like with what he is experiencing, I didn’t want to risk it. (I’d) rather give him another day of rest.”
Meanwhile, Workman could make his big league debut Tuesday in middle relief. Three years removed from the University of Texas, the 24-year-old has posted a 3-1 record with a 2.80 ERA in 10 starts with Pawtucket. Farrell saw his fastball command and consistency as reasons to try the righty out of the bullpen. Workman hasn’t worked in relief since he pitched for the Longhorns.
Farrell said he could envision a scenario where Workman permanently sticks with the Sox.
“We wanted to look at all internal options first before we aggressively pursue anything else, which I’m sure that time will come, but for right now we’ve got a chance to take a look at one of our own guys,” he said.
The Sox will take a crack at ending a three-game slide when they face Iwakuma. The Sox are just 1-3 on their 10-game West Coast road trip, but they still lead Tampa Bay by 3.5 games in the AL East.
First, they’ll need to solve an Iwakuma splitter that has befuddled hitters during the first three months of the 2013 season. Opponents are batting just .183 against it.
“We know he pitches down in the bottom of the strike zone,” Farrell said. “The ideal thing would be to capitalize on some pitches that might be elevated within the strike zone. We’ll see how that unfolds tonight.”