BOSTON (CBS) — Jackie Bradley Jr. had a career day for the Red Sox on Sunday, driving in a career-high five runs in Boston’s 7-2 win over the Detroit Tigers.
Bradley Jr. clubbed a solo homer in the seventh and a three-run triple in the eighth. He also drove in a run by drawing a bases loaded walk in the second inning, batting out of the nine-spot in the Boston lineup.
He also showed off some nice leather in the field, making an over-the-shoulder grab to end the fifth inning. But Red Sox fans are already familiar with Bradley’s glove, and are now just waiting on his bat to catch up.
Will that ever happen? Dan Roche and Tony Massarotti discussed that on Monday night’s edition of Inside Baseball, and took a closer look at a few positive signs from Bradley on Sunday.
“What does one game give you in terms of optimism, and it’s really not a ton. Except, if you’re looking for particulars with Jackie Bradley. There were a couple of things in that game were revealing and encouraging,” said Massarotti.
Throughout his short stints in the Majors, Bradley has struggled with anything inside. On Sunday, it was a fastball up and in from Tigers left-hander Tom Gorzelanny that he deposited in the right field bleachers.
“These are the hits that he has not been able to produce consistently, that part of the plate” said Mazz. “If that ever gets fixed, Jackie Bradley is a starting Major League player.”
“He’s a gold glover, keep him in center field kind of guy,” added Roche. “The question is, with 500 career at-bats, can he turn it around and hit? If he hits .240 he has to be your starting center fielder because he can win games for you defensively.”
Bradley Jr. is batting just .148 on the season and .191 for his career. With 540 career at-bats, Mazz notes that of 1,651 players in baseball over the last 30 years with at least 500 at-bats, Bradley Jr. has the fifth-worst average among them.
“Nowhere to go but up,” joked Roche.
Even with Mookie Betts working his way back from a concussion, Roche and Mazz would like to see what Bradley can do the rest of the season.
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