Jackie Bradley will play his fifth game in five game days as he gets the start against the St. Louis Cardinals.
For the second time in two days, the Red Sox will take on the St. Louis Cardinals, this time welcoming them to Jet Blue Park in Fort Myers. And four the fifth time in five game days, Jackie Bradley will be taking the field.
It's an honor he will share with Mauro Gomez, also getting the nod for the day, but for Bradley the implications are perhaps more interesting. Given the attention Xander Bogaerts draws, combined with the two players' similar place in the system, it's easy to just assume that, like Bogaerts, Bradley is unlikely to have a place on the team until rosters expand. But Bradley has about three times as much Double-A experience as Bogaerts, and as Marc pointed out earlier today he might not have to do much to earn himself a promotion before the year even begins. Either way, it's clear Farrell wants to see as much of the exciting young center fielder as possible, and that can't hurt his chances.
As for Gomez, the other most-used player, his presence is even less surprising. The Sox are very short on first basemen, particularly with Mike Napoli out of the roster until Friday, and while the Sox would much rather not have to think about Mauro Gomez making the major league roster, they do have to figure out who's going to be first in line to replace Napoli in the event of an injury.
Beyond the lineup, though, today will also be the first day Ryan Dempster takes the mound in a Red Sox uniform. A lot of Boston's hopes this year rest on Dempster's ability to shore up the rotation. We won't get a good look at him today, with no television broadcast, but hopefully he has a strong start to spring.
- Jackie Bradley, CF
- Daniel Nava, LF
- Ryan Lavarnway, C
- Mike Carp, DH
- Mauro Gomez, 1B
- Ryan Sweeney, RF
- Drew Sutton, 3B
- Jose Iglesias, SS
- Jonathan Diaz, 2B