NEW YORK — John Farrell told Jackie Bradley Jr. that he had made the Red Sox while the team flight was en route to New York on Saturday night.
“At 35,000 feet, he couldn’t jump any higher,” Farrell said. “I think he kind of sensed it all along.”
Bradley will start in left field on Monday against the Yankees. He was given No. 44, a nice improvement from No. 74 in spring training.
“He improves our outfield defense,” Farrell sad. “He showed a very consistent approach at the plate. A lot of people want to target the batting average in spring. In our evaluation it goes much deeper than that. When you see the consistency of at-bats he put up, feel like the strength in his mental approach will handle some of the distractions that will ultimately be thrown his way. One of the better players we had in spring training.”
Bradley hit .419 in 28 games during spring training with a .507 on-base percentage and a .633 slugging percentage. Farrell said the idea of keeping Bradley took root halfway through camp once they saw him play. David Ortiz’s injury created an opening.
“Our intentions were for him to start the season in the minor leagues,” Farrell said. “But I didn’t want to put a ceiling on the guy.”
The Red Sox designated Mauro Gomez for assignment to make room for Bradley on the 40-man roster.
The Red Sox also placed LHP Craig Breslow (left shoulder tendinitis), LHP Franklin Morales (low back strain), and David Ortiz (right Achilles tendinopathy) on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to March 22.