Jackie Bradley Jr. has missed two straight games at Triple-A Pawtucket due to a minor shoulder injury, one he likely would have played through were Shane Victorino fully healthy. As Bradley might have been needed in the majors should Victorino's back not improve, though, the Red Sox didn't push the issue, and instead, Bradley got a few days off in the name of caution to rest up while Boston played wait-and-see with Victorino.
That seems to be over now, though, as Bradley is back in Pawtucket's lineup as the leadoff hitter and designated hitter for Tuesday's game. According to Alex Speier, Victorino played catch on Monday's off day, and while that's not a guarantee he'll avoid the disabled list, baseball activities that weren't followed by a Tuesday morning roster move are likely a positive sign. Were Boston still assuming Bradley would be needed because of a Victorino DL move, it's unlikely we would have seen both of these two events.
In Victorino's absence, Boston has been using Daniel Nava in right field. He's now started six games at the position and appeared in nine, totaling 61 innings, or, 75 percent of his career innings at the position. Nava in right would have been treated as a harbinger of doom for the Red Sox just a year ago, but since his initial call-up in 2010, he has improved his defense by leaps and bounds, both figuratively and literally:
Boston can stick with his glove in right for a few more days -- especially now that they have left the difficult right field of Fenway Park for this series in Toronto -- given his defensive gains. The fact Mike Carp has been hitting (.455/.500/.864 in 11 games) when given the chance to play in left isn't hurting, either. One thing is for sure: this sure beats acquiring Marlon Byrd and Scott Podsednik, especially since it seems all is returning to normal well before that level of desperation needed to be reached.