PHILADELPHIA -- Outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. has played himself back into the picture in Boston.
After the Red Sox's 3-1 loss to the Phillies on Tuesday night, the Sox informed pitcher Alex Wilson that he had been optioned back to Triple-A Pawtucket. Bradley will fly from Indianapolis, where the PawSox played Tuesday night, and join the club in Philadelphia in time for Wednesday night's game against the Phillies. The Sox made it official Wednesday afternoon.
Red Sox manager John Farrell had said before Tuesday's game the club was probably going to add another position player instead of carrying a 13th pitcher, and identified Bradley as a candidate for promotion.
Bradley made a compelling case for a call-up. He doubled in his last at-bat Tuesday night to extend his hitting streak to 12 games; in that time, he's batting .437 (21-for-48) with five doubles, a triple, two home runs, 11 runs scored and six RBIs.
Bradley has overcome a slow start with the PawSox, which included a stint on the DL earlier this month due to biceps tendinitis, and his slash line is: .354 AVG/.457 OBP/.544 SLG.
And it was obvious from Farrell's remarks Wednesday that the manager is paying attention.
“Once he got past the shoulder tendinitis, he got back on the field much like we saw in spring training with his defense,’’ Farrell said. “Two good plays last night. He doubled off a guy with a throw. Threw out another runner. He hit a home run and double last night. He’s been swinging the bat very well.’’
Bradley has been playing all three outfield positions for Pawtucket.
The Red Sox are playing their first road interleague games in Philadelphia on Wednesday and Thursday, a situation where another position player will be useful as a pinch hitter. The Phillies are starting two right-handers the next two nights, so it is not out of the question that Bradley could get a start in one of those games. In the eight games Shane Victorino has missed since going on the DL, Farrell has been going with Daniel Nava in right and has split the eight games between Jonny Gomes and Mike Carp. The left-handed hitting Carp is 3-for-10 with two doubles, a home run and four RBIs in his four starts; Gomes is 1-for-14, his overall batting average slipping to .168.
At the least, Bradley would be available as a pinch hitter, pinch runner or defensive replacement.
Due to the injury to David Ortiz, Bradley started the season as the starting left fielder for the Red Sox. In 12 games, Bradley struggled with just three hits in 31 at bats before being sent down.
How long might he be back? It would seem that this will be a short stint, his return tied to when Victorino comes off the DL on Tuesday.