BOSTON – Jackie Bradley started the first five games of the season in left field. But he'll be on the bench today for the start of the home opener against the Orioles.
Bradley, who was the Red Sox' most exciting player in spring training, has gone hitless in his last two games and is batting .143 (3-for-21) so far this year. Switch-hitting Daniel Nava will start in left field and Jonny Gomes will serve as the designated hitter against O’s left-hander Wei-Yin Chin.
“I think over the last two or three games he’s been getting pitched to pretty consistently,” said manager John Farrell. “Just felt like against another very good left-hander, it was a chance to get Nava’s right-handed bat in there with Gomes as the DH.”
- David Ortiz (heels) is expected to get at-bats in a simulated game today in Fort Myers. The Sox hope he can get three consecutive days of live at-bats before being sent out on a rehab assignment.
- Left-hander Franklin Morales (back) is expected to pitch one inning, throwing about 20 pitches, in an extended spring game tomorrow. The Sox would like to get him up to about three innings before he would be sent out on a rehab assignment. Initially, the plan for Morales at the beginning of spring training was to get him stretched out as a potential fill-in starter.
- Left-hander Craig Breslow (shoulder) is expected to pitch one inning in a simulated game tomorrow with the hope of getting him into an extended spring game by the end of the week.
- The Sox have won eight consecutive home openers, the longest streak in club history and the longest active streak in the majors. Told by a reporter he was working against the law of averages, Farrell replied: “Well, I don’t know that I looked into the law of averages this morning. I like the way we’re playing. I like the way [Clay Buchholz, Monday's starter] has been throwing the ball all spring. And more than anything, [I like] the energy and the consistency [of] the defense that we’ve played. I think our guys come back home with some confidence, getting back home in front of our home crowd. This’ll be a very good day.”