The debate is over. The Red Sox have decided to both reward Jackie Bradley Jr. for his stellar spring training outing and throw down the gauntlet right here, right now.
Over a team second highest 62 at bats Bradley batted .419 during spring training. He led or was at the top of nearly every significant offensive category, doing it with poise and maturity beyond his 22-years.
By making the move, Boston management is foregoing an additional year of club control. It’s a gutsy compete here and now move. Some say it’s bad business business. I think it’s great for baseball and signals to both the fan base and the rest of the AL East that Boston is all in for the 2013 campaign.
Manager John Farrell told reporters, “The fact that he’s played at a high-level or high profile even as an amateur — some of the things were in place even before he was drafted by the Red Sox. I don’t want to say he’s unflappable, but at the same time he has a very consistent approach.”
By keeping Bradley on the roster, Jonny Gomes will serve Monday as Boston’s designated hitter against the Yankees and lefty starter CC Sabathia, a better matchup for Gomes who hits lefties 50 points higher than righties. First baseman Mauro Gomez was designated for assignment to make room for Bradley on the 40-man roster.