With regard to Jackie Bradley Jr., let’s not focus on the next six years, but rather the last six years. We never know what the future will bring, but we are plenty aware of the past and present. Let’s make Bradley Jr. the exception that proves the rule about how the Red Sox utilize their farm system.
Let’s set aside the contractual issues. What is the difference between 2018 and 2019, a year right? Bradley is young, able to play a solid outfield position, which would most likely be left, with a consistent, offensive bat. We need all of that right now, this year. Who knows what 2018 will bring? I do not know where I am going to be, so why put so much emphasis on uncertainty. Why not stay in the now, where questions loom about the shortstop and DH position.
Farrell, questioned Sunday about whether Bradley Jr. would play in the majors this year, seemed to be taking a page from Bill Belichick’s playbook, when answering reporters’ queries. One of my favorite non-answer answers from the press conference when asked about whether he will play in April, Farrell said, “We’ve got two weeks to determine that.” Though Farrell may not be in the now, he is at least in the near distant future.
The pitching Bradley faces may dictate Farrell’s decision over these next two weeks. The starters get stronger the closer we get to the end of March. They have more innings and competitive play at the conclusion of each day. Look at Jon Lester’s outing on Sunday; he looked as great as ever, giving the ball club six flawless innings. He’s back, we hope. After all, when was the last time that happened? Cobb of the Rays rose to the occasion affecting Bradley’s batting average, which as of Sunday night, is at .444 as he went 0-1. These statistics, if anything, are the only valid facts that Farrell should be weighing in the next two weeks with regard to Bradley.
Let’s forget about the future and the past. If we look at the present, and the desire for this team to do well this year (not 2018, or 2019), we need another great bat like Bradley’s to get the Sox closer to October baseball.