BOSTON (CBS) – The Boston Red Sox have not officially announced their opening day 25-man roster, but all signs point to outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. making the squad.
On Thursday night, the team informed outfielder Ryan Sweeney they would not be purchasing his contract, clearing a path for the rookie Bradley Jr. to remain in the big leagues to begin the season.
Bradley Jr. — a non-roster invitee that needed a roster spot cleared to remain with Boston — is batting .441 this spring with 12 RBIs and 12 runs scored after singling in his only at-bat in Thursday night’s win over the Twins.
With David Ortiz likely beginning the season on the disabled list, an opportunity arose for Bradley Jr. to get some early playing time. The rookie could play left field with Jonny Gomes DH-ing in place of Ortiz.
First baseman Mike Carp is also expected to make the final roster, along with reliever Clayton Mortenson.
On Thursday, the Red Sox optioned Daniel Bard to Double-A Portland and sent first baseman Mauro Gomez and. They also placed shortstop Stephen Drew on the seven-day DL for players with concussions — retroactive to Wednesday.
The Red Sox have until noon Sunday to turn in their final roster to Major League Baseball.