Thursday, April 24, 2014
SARASOTA, Fla. - Before we get to the Jackie Bradley Jr. news of the day, there are some other Red Sox hitters having themselves a solid spring training.
Will Middlebrooks enjoyed a 3-for-4 outing Monday in a 12-9 loss to the Baltimore Orioles. Middlebrooks is batting .362.
Mike Napoli (.342) went 2 for 3. Jonny Gomes (.283) also looked good, going 2 for 3 with a home run.
"Good to see as we get closer to the start of things," Boston Manager John Farrell said.
When Boston gets to that thing called the regular season, will Bradley be on the Red Sox roster?
"Not only are you all waiting, but I am, too," Bradley joked with reporters after the game.
Bradley again amazed with his batting. He entered in the seventh inning with runners on second and third, with Boston down 9-7.
Facing veteran reliever Pedro Strop, Bradley singled up the middle, tying the game.
In the ninth. Bradley tripled off left-hander Chris Petrini, launching a ball off the right field wall.
"Very consistent approach," Farrell said. "And what was even more impressive was that after (Sunday), when some left-handers tied him up a bit, he came back against a left-hander who has quality stuff and put a good swing on the ball."
Bradley called Monday "a good day. Keep swinging and be ready to play tomorrow."
THE RED SOX have the day off Tuesday, as coaches and the front office gather for meetings. It's possible the roster could be set.
Bradley, batting .444 this spring, appears to have played his way onto the team. But he hasn't heard anything.
"You always want to know where you can go to make arrangements. Got to get an apartment or something," Bradley said, smiling.
In Portland, Bradley stayed with a host family. Maybe a family in Boston will take him in?
"Why not? I'll sleep on the couch," he said.
JOSE IGLESIAS is likely to make the roster because starting shortstop Stephen Drew is still recovering from a concussion, although Drew had a full workout in Fort Myers on Monday.
Iglesias is improved this spring, with a .276 average after going 1 for 3 Monday. But Farrell said when Drew will be the starter when he's ready to play.
"Oh yeah, that's his job," Farrell said. "Stephen was signed for that reason. A temporary injury situation is not going to alter that.
"Not to take anything away from Jose. He's had a very good spring."
JACOBY ELLSBURY took Monday off after rolling his right ankle on a pickoff play Sunday. Farrell expects Ellsbury to be ready to go Wednesday.
CHRIS MARTIN, a reliever who is expected to be back in Portland this year, pitched a scoreless eighth inning for the Red Sox. He allowed two singles and struck out one.
THREE OTHER Red Sox pitchers allowed the nine Orioles runs -- minor leaguers Graham Godfrey (six runs, three innings) and Miguel Celestino (three/one) and major league reliever Clayton Mortensen (three/one).
BOSTON MADE three expected roster moves, sending infielders Xander Bogaerts, Drew Sutton and Jonathan Diaz to minor league camp. Bogaerts is expected to join the Portland Sea Dogs, the team he finished with last season.
RYAN FLAHERTY is in a battle to make the Orioles' roster. He played both right field and shortstop and went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts.
His path to a roster spot may have opened a bit wider when designated hitter Wilson Betemit sustained a sprained ligament in his right knee. Flaherty could be part of a platoon at DH if he makes the roster.
Kevin Thomas can be contacted at 791-6411 or at: