According to Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston, the Boston Red Sox have sent down the struggling Jackie Bradley Jr. to Triple-A Pawtucket and recalled Mookie Betts. Bradley, who had recorded hits in four of his previous five games, will need to develop his plate approach in the minors if he wants to have a shot at his center field job next season.
Bradley has struggled at the plate all season long and apparently the Sox have seen enough. They know what he can do in the outfield, but at this point of the season, there is no need for his defense. Instead, Bradley can work on his hitting while Betts can get some more major league experience under his belt.
In 13 games this season for Boston, Betts is hitting .244 with one home run and two doubles. Betts has looked somewhat shaky in the outfield, but with only around half a season’s worth of games played, it is still a learning experience. Brock Holt will also continue to see some starts at center, as he had been seeing more time there as Bradley’s play continued to decline.
Another possible development regarding the Red Sox center field spot involves Cuban defector Rusney Castillo. Edes reported yesterday that the Red Sox were awaiting word on Castillo’s intentions, which are expected to be announced sometime this week. Castillo, 27, has said that he prefers to play center field. He does have solid speed, but doesn’t have the power that fellow Cubans Jose Abreu or Yasiel Puig do. If he decides to join the Red Sox, will Bradley even be in the cards next season for the Red Sox?
A few weeks ago, the Sox outfield was a clear weak spot. Now, it appears that there could be too many outfielders for their own good. Assets are assets though, and if there is an abundance of outfielders, the Red Sox can turn them over for pitching help.
It is unclear whether the Red Sox intend to bring Bradley back up to the big leagues this season. If Betts struggles and Bradley gets hot, you could see him back in center field before the season ends. There is a chance that Bradley’s poor offense has already led to the Red Sox keeping him out of their future plans.