Red Sox place outfielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. on 10-day disabled list

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 13: Jackie Bradley Jr.
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 13: Jackie Bradley Jr. /

The Boston Red Sox will be without center fielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. for the rest of the current road trip and beyond due to a thumb injury.

The Boston Red Sox announced on Wednesday that outfielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with a left thumb sprain.

Infielder Deven Marrero has been recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket to take his spot on the roster.

Bradley was injured on a play at the plate in Tuesday night’s win in Cleveland. He came around to score on a double by Eduardo Nunez in the seventh inning, but a close play required Bradley to reach awkwardly around the tag of Indians catcher Yan Gomes. It appeared that Bradley hit his thumb hard across the plate and he appeared to be shaking off some discomfort on his way back to the dugout.

The play was close enough that Cleveland challenged the call, only for the umpire crew to uphold the decision. Had the call been reversed, Boston could have had a case for countering the challenge with one of their own to review if Gomes had illegally blocked the plate. The confirmation that Bradley was safe negated the need, although the questionable positioning of the catcher in Bradley’s path may have contributed to the injury.

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Bradley was replaced by Chris Young in the bottom of the inning, with Andrew Benintendi sliding over to center field. We can expect that to become the typical outfield alignment while Bradley recovers, although Brock Holt may also see some time in left field.

Mookie Betts is a capable center fielder, but he’s outstanding in right field, leading the majors in defensive runs saved. The Red Sox are better served keeping him in that spot, while Benny patrols center. The rookie has more recent experience at the position, so the transition should be smooth.

Prior to his early exit, Bradley had gone 2-for-3 in the game with a home run. The 27-year old was beginning one of his patented hot streaks, collecting three multi-hit games in his last four appearances.

Bradley is hitting .262 with a .775 OPS, 14 home runs and 54 RBI this season. These numbers represent a step back from last year’s breakout season. While he’s getting on base at approximately the same rate, his power has dropped off. That seems to be a theme for this Red Sox team this season. Bradley’s .170 ISO is a steep drop from his previous two seasons (.219 in 2016, .249 in 2015).

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A thumb injury certainly won’t help Bradley find his power stroke. X-rays were negative and Bradley brushed off concerns over the extent of the injury in a post-game interview televised on NESN. He was sent back to Boston for an MRI, the results of which have yet to be revealed, although they were apparently serious enough to warrant a DL stint.