Jackie Bradley Jr. remains upbeat despite landing on DL
When he ran through all the ways he could have landed on the disabled list already this season — crashing into the fence in the triangle in center field at Fenway, getting spiked in the calf stealing second base — Jackie Bradley Jr. cracked a smile at what actually did him in.
Bradley sprained a ligament in his right knee Saturday when his cleat appeared to grab some of the Comerica Park clay in Detroit.
“Clumsy,” Bradley said, poking fun at his misfortune.
The mishap sent the center fielder to the disabled list Tuesday.
He missed the final two games of the series against the Tigers and returned to Boston on Monday for examinations that determined he would need time to recover.
Bradley, upbeat, said he didn’t feel any soreness but understood the injury would take time to heal.
“I feel great,” he said. “I just want to give it some time. It’s an injury, I guess serious enough that time is the only thing that’s going to heal it.”
Bradley went through agility work and rehab exercises on Tuesday. He also was fitted for a knee brace.
The freak nature of the injury wasn’t lost on manager John Farrell.
“This has been a little bit of an oddity,” he said. “Those who have watched the replay, it’s an ugly position that he got himself into in the hyperextension. So we feel like we maybe dodged a bullet a little bit with what potentially could have happened from an injury standpoint. And the fact that he walked off on his own power is encouraging. So, he’s a minimum of 10 days, but we’ll see where we are after that.”
In Bradley’s absence, Andrew Benintendi moved from left field to center Sunday, and he will likely remain there until Bradley returns. Chris Young will play left field. While Brock Holt and Steve Selsky are also options, Farrell said Young has had the best at-bats to this point. Young entered Tuesday’s game hitting just .200, but went 2 for 4 and scored three runs in the 8-1 win over the Orioles.
“He’s had quality at-bats, even though you don’t look at the bottom line as a true indicator, there’s been some walks mixed in, there’s been some hard hits mixed in, so right now he’s the guy,” Farrell said.
Bradley was off to a strong start before the setback. He is hitting .286 with a triple and two RBIs in four games and already has some highlight-reel grabs. There’s no clear timetable for his recovery.
“Whenever it’s ready,” Bradley said. “I’m not going to rush it. I’m just going to make sure I’m able to make all the same powerful moves I made before with no hesitation.
“You definitely just want to help the team in any way you possibly can. I guess the positive news is it’s early in the year, a lot of games left. I feel great, so I’m really not frustrated. I’m really optimistic with where I’m at right now.”
The Red Sox have taken the most practical step to make sure the stomach ailment that’s plagued the team doesn’t linger, spraying the clubhouse at Fenway and every piece of common equipment with disinfectant. The bug has hit many Red Sox, from Holt to Mookie Betts, Mitch Moreland to Benintendi, who was vomiting in the middle of a game over the weekend, according to Farrell.
After missing four straight games, Hanley Ramirez returned to the lineup Tuesday night against the Orioles.
“I think those who have had it, those who are back in the lineup are moving past it,” said Farrell. “I don’t know that there’s any new cases, per se.”
The team hasn’t had its projected lineup since Opening Day. Along with the stomach ailment, the Sox have navigated early-season injuries and family issues.
Xander Bogaerts returned to the lineup Tuesday after being placed on the bereavement list Thursday following the death of his grandmother.
“We’ve been without a few guys in the middle of that order for the previous series,” Farrell said. “So to have Hanley and Bogey back in the lineup for various reasons, it’s a good sign. But I think what we’re also seeing is a bunch of guys have been stricken with the flu or some other ailment, there’s been a little bit of a reacclimation back into the game speed. But to have them back in the lineup is a step in the right direction.”
Showalter sick of it
Meanwhile, Orioles manager Buck Showalter obliquely needled the Sox for the attention garnered by their recent outbreak of a stomach ailment.
The Red Sox have seen Robbie Ross Jr. land on the disabled list, and a number of relievers have had their availability impacted by the virus. The outbreak has become wide enough that the team’s efforts to combat it through the disinfection of their clubhouse have gained national attention.
In his pregame comments to the media, Showalter noted his team had dealt with its share of sick players. Reliever Darren O’Day, for instance, was unavailable Opening Day. That said, Showalter noted that his team has endured its maladies with little fanfare.
“I don’t know where we are with the flu today,” Showalter said. “Everybody in the league has had that issue. I’ve had it and it’s a different strain, I’ll tell you. It lingers for a long time. Some of them seem to be a little more noteworthy, it seems like, but our guys have fought their way through it. I know we’ve got a lot of guys that aren’t 100 percent with it, but so do a lot of clubs. So nobody really wants to hear somebody else complain about it. Our guys have done a good job not broadcasting it to the world.”
Price on track
David Price took another positive step after throwing a bullpen session Monday, and he is on schedule for another Wednesday, according to Farrell. Price threw a 20-pitch session Monday in Detroit, following three consecutive days of long toss. It was his first time throwing off a mound since Feb. 28, when he first experienced swelling in his throwing elbow. He went on the disabled list the next day and missed the start of the season. Taking Tuesday to rest, Price experienced no setbacks with the workload. “Today was consistent with what it’s been and that’s feeling no ill effects from the workday,” Farrell said . . . After going through his second strength test in five days on Monday, righthander Tyler Thornburg (right shoulder impingement) will begin a throwing program Wednesday . . . Infielder Josh Rutledge (left hamstring) is still a ways from going on a rehab assignment. He’s begun jogging but needs to progress through running the bases and taking ground balls. Farrell said Rutledge, who has been out since March 28, will need a rehab assignment to get at-bats. “Ultimately he’s going to have to run the bases without any hinderance before we get him out on a rehab assignment,” Farrell said . . . Ross, who was placed on the DL April 6 (retroactive to April 3), was sent to Triple A Pawtucket to begin a rehab assignment.