WEEI>On Demand>>Spring Training Report: Is Jackie Bradley Jr. ready?

Spring Training Report: Is Jackie Bradley Jr. ready?

Feb 25, 2014|

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Alex Speier discuss Jackie Bradley Jr.'s development and whether or not he's ready to be an everyday player. They also provide updates on Grady Sizemore, Shane Victorino and Koji Uehara.

Transcript - will not be 100% accurate

Welcome back everybody did jetBlue park in Fort Myers, Florida my name is Mike but try -- joined is always by Red Sox senior writer for WEEI dot com. Alex -- Alex begin today talking JBJ that would be Jackie Bradley junior. Last year and he. Really well them in spring training he hit I believe it was 442 somewhere in the neighborhood. Started fourteen games played in 25. Everybody in their brother is -- road on WEEI dot com today. Thought that he deserved a spot on the opening day roster he was indeed the Yankee Stadium. In the Bronx but things did not turn out well in the first month of the season he hit that I believe it was two for 31. He's -- walked six times but struck out twelve times. Talking to him today. He is a very mature man under is trying to learn from what he. Experience last year. And I think it Jackie Bradley junior knowing Jacoby Ellsbury it's no longer in center field is ready for the opportunity and ready to seize that opportunity you're very. Well adversity is one of the greatest teachers in player development that's something we hear a lot from baseball from baseball front office guys play people in player development. And Jackie Bradley junior is someone who. Had adversity last year it was at the Major League level that we often lose sight of that. I think there was some sense that oh he's not what we thought he was no no no no no at the start of spring training last year. The expectation was that he was going to be competing for a role in either Portland or Pawtucket. Against that backdrop his season was a wild success. Even if it did have its -- to meet the bigger question was the fact that he ended up having some injury issues over the course of the 2013 season in Pawtucket but. Yes he struggled a major leagues but in three different -- -- able to accomplish different things and show a certain progression as he did move through the course of the season. To a point -- in September. He looks like he was ready to be put in this position to compete for a job and in all likelihood it's is but he will be at the very least they haven't. You know that that's not a fait accompli because you're kind of curious to see what Grady Sizemore might be able to do in camp. But nonetheless he's mature enough to understand it did struggle is part of the growing process. And that leads us to our next topic and that is Grady Sizemore you have that opportunity Alex to speak with him. I think you know in in just the conversations that I've been around -- Grady also today and in talking with John -- it seems like there might be a bit of a difference and how to read it John Perreault. Told us today that there is no reason to expect that he wasn't ready for games indeed he will play against northeastern. On Thursday afternoon in the spring training opener but he talked to Grady Sizemore and I think you get a little bit of a different feel. Well I think that. He feels like he's ready for game season and I think that he put his -- I think he's elated. For me we we don't know yet it's gonna take a broader sample of the spring to figure out what he is on the field. But you know you have to appreciate what. Playing against a college team in exhibition game means to Grady Sizemore right now. This thing first and foremost on his mind is how elated he is to be in position to number one put on the uniform. In number two to be able to Paris patent games this is something that it's been two and a half years in the making has been sitting at home. On his couch rehabbing. And he's been limited to watching games of the activities -- Peppers -- He feels physically like he's ready he has no idea he acknowledges that his timing is a work in progress but. Fundamentally it's just an exciting moment for him he did indicate though. To you and I I believe two losses well he didn't wanna take on too much too soon those are his words to us is that the century yet. Sure of course he needs to measure he needs to make sure that he doesn't try to drink water from a fire -- you know after being after being too thirsty. In so that's that's the position that he's in nonetheless there haven't been any physical setbacks thus far the progression I think has exceeded the expectations of everyone but. You know they're there does have to be some cost some sense of caution with regards to the progression just because of what he's coming from. Obviously we're talking about a month of spring training games but do you really see. A possibility were Grady Sizemore jumps from not having played since 2011. To winning the starting role in center field. Anything is possible -- I mean the closest I come in comparison I can think of in the last decade would be someone like Josh Hamilton who. Had years off and then all of a sudden. He got rule 52 got taken in by the reds in the rule five draft entering the 2006 -- I believe. And -- you know he tore it up and he ended up. Being who he was you know he being projected. I don't know if he would ever be who he was projected to be but he ended up being a superstar. I think that size -- and a different bodies much older than Hamilton was at that phase of his career but never ever ever doubt. Great athletes they can do some extraordinary things. Even with the you know even with what we would anticipate being a considerable amount of rust so is there really is it likely. Probably not is it possible you can't dismiss it completely. All right let's stick in the outfield and speaking of athletes who work on their body and nonstop and really need to Shane Victorino. John Ferrell said today that he is had a couple of very productive days in terms of healing his body. And and trying to work his way back into regular baseball. Activity. Your sense of where Shane Victorino stance and how cautious or not cautious the Red Sox are being with them well the hand. Appears to be progressing fine after you have bad thumb surgery in January. He's been taking has been a progressing in terms of his hitting in what he's been able to do from the standpoint of taking flips and taking even a little bit about limited batting practice. But what John Carroll said was that they wanted to focus on strengthening his -- you'll remember that last here. He had abdominal injuries and hip injuries and hamstring injuries and lower back injuries which essentially are all kind of you know kind of core injuries. You know and they're all kind of related to the same fundamental things that they said. Before we pushed too far too too hard to get him in games. Instead let's focus on just building up that area so that you know sort of this this region of his body that you know kind of presented a bit of vulnerability last year. And raised questions -- -- point about his availability can be put in the best possible position to keep my on the field. -- right on to the bullpen we all know how lights out -- you are was he had one of the greatest single seasons any closers ever had. In Major League Baseball I don't think that's hyperbole I think that's just what it was he recorded the final three out of the final three outs. Of each of the clinching series. In the Red Sox post season march to the World Series title. But he is 38 and with that in mind I'm I'm sure the Red Sox would like to talk about some depth behind him. In the event a like you mentioned to John Carroll today he just needs a day off. Or something comes up like. That was the case last year. Which -- Hanrahan and Andrew Bailey. They went out and got Edward -- peak at 37 saves and there are also is another -- -- interesting possibility that John Carroll raised today. Talk about who that. Other closer might be behind. Coaching you are. Those interest to. To hear Ferrell save that kind of be alternatives might also include Andrew Miller something that's interesting both because. Both because it says a lot about how far Miller has come and his career it has a lot about how highly they regard -- -- coming up this injury. Did they would consider that they would say okay he he's someone who would be that kind of back and bad and this line of defense. Consideration but when you strike out fourteen batters per nine innings. I guess you can be considered for just about any role there exists. All right that is the situation here at jetBlue park the Red Sox. Pictures did not throw live batting practice. Here on Tuesday instead it was the Red Sox position players who took opportunity. For their first batting -- batting practice session inside jetBlue park. Here on the turf all the position players. Taking about four rounds each of batting practice of course the games get underway on Thursday northeastern. In a seven inning contest starts at 105 that'll be followed about a half hour later by another subbing in the seventh inning contest that'll be against. The Boston College Eagles will speak to you again on Wednesday. For Alex beer I'm Mike betrayal AM at jetBlue park with the Red Sox WEEI. Dot com.

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