DUNEDIN, Fla. – John Farrell did his best Bill Parcells imitation and said he “reserved the right to change our minds” and decided it was probably a smart thing to play Jackie Bradley in left field considering he’s probably the best player in Red Sox camp right now.
Farrell had said he couldn’t envision playing Bradley in left which seemed to indicate the organization was leaning toward sending the 23-year-old center fielder back to the minors.
Bradley moved from center to left in the seventh inning of today’s 1-0 loss against the Blue Jays. He made an excellent relay throw, hitting the cutoff man perfectly and also fielded two tough fly outs, one against the left field railing in foul territory and another deep to left near the wall.
“We’ve had some discussions – we want to take a look at him in left field. The first hitter he’s in left field with he gets challenged pretty good and makes a heck of a play. The relay throw hits the cutoff man. Goes against the wall to catch another fly ball out. He’s a very good defensive outfielder regardless of the position,” Farrell said.
When asked about the change of heart he said, “We reserve the right to change our minds and our plans. That’s where he was at today,” Farrell said.
Should we read anything into it?
“I wouldn’t read anything into it other than getting him some exposure in left field in the event that certain things fall a given way we want to be sure to cover all of our bases,” Farrell said.
It was the first time Bradley had ever played left field as a professional. He said he played left in high school as a freshman.
“Well it felt different,” Bradley said, “That’s for sure. I hadn’t played there in a while. But overall I felt good.”
Asked whether Bradley would see more action or start in left, Farrell said, “Yet to be seen, because what’s going to happen tomorrow and Sunday is our regulars are going to go back to back at home and then up in Clearwater.
“Monday at Sarasota might present a different opportunity for him to get back into left field. But we’ll take this final week and get some additional exposure there.”