11:42 a.m.: The lineup cards are in, and Red Sox fans will get another glimpse of Jackie Bradley Jr. This time, the hot-hitting outfielder will lead off for the hometown club.
Bradley didn’t record a hit on Tuesday, but that’s simply because the Red Sox had an off-day. Otherwise, Bradley probably would have been good for at least a couple. (If the rest of the spring is any indication.)
Bradley enters Wednesday’s game hitting .444 (24-for-54) with two homers, a triple, four doubles, 11 RBIs, 10 runs and eight walks. His average ranks third among Grapefruit League qualifiers, and his .523 on-base percentage is tops.
Bradley’s 24 hits this spring are far and away the most on the Red Sox. In fact, Will Middlebrooks holds the second-highest total, and he has 17. Over the last nine spring trainings, the only Red Sox player with as many hits as Bradley’s 24 was Chris Carter, who recorded 27 in 2009.
Yet, despite all of Bradley’s success, it’s still unclear whether or not he’ll make the Opening Day roster. He’s certainly done everything he could to earn a roster spot, but the debate rages on, although it’s becoming extremely hard to defend starting him anywhere other than the majors.
I wrote earlier this week about how Bradley’s spring performance will truly test the business of baseball. You can have a look at that by clicking the link below.
Click here to read about ‘The Decision’ >>
Not interested? That’s cool. But at least check out the lineups.
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Daniel Nava, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Mike Napoli, 1B
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Jonny Gomes, DH
Mike Carp, LF
Jose Iglesias, SS
Jon Lester P
Chris Coghlan, CF
Adeiny Hechavarria, SS
Justin Ruggiano, LF
Austin Kearns, DH
Chris Valaika, 3B
Casey Kotchman, 1B
Koyie Hill, C
Wilson Valdez, 2B
Gorkys Hernandez, RF
Kevin Slowey, P
11:15 a.m.: The Red Sox made a few roster moves on Wednesday, further trimming their big league squad as we head toward Opening Day.
Ryan Lavarnway has been optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket, while Anthony Carter and Jose De La Torre have been reassigned to minor league camp.
11 a.m.: Here’s a shocker: Jon Lester has been named Boston’s Opening Day starter.
It was pretty much a foregone conclusion that Lester will toe the rubber when the Red Sox open up against the Yankees in the Bronx on April 1, but it has finally been confirmed. I guess it makes sense to announce the decision on a day when Lester is pitching.
This will be the third straight Opening Day nod for Lester, and it’s the third time overall that he’s been named Opening Day starter. Lester will be the first Red Sox lefty to make three straight Opening Day starts since Mel Parnell (1952-54). Babe Ruth is the only other left-hander to make three straight Opening Day starts for the Red Sox (1916-18).
Lester will be followed in the rotation by Clay Buchholz, Ryan Dempster, Felix Doubront and John Lackey.
8 a.m. ET: The Marlins will call the state of Florida home all season, but the Red Sox are nearing the end of their time in the Sunshine State. After Wednesday, all that separates Boston and the regular season is a three-game stretch against the Minnesota Twins.
Jon Lester will take the ball for the Red Sox on Wednesday as they try to exact some revenge against the Marlins. The Fish earned an 8-7 walkoff win against the Sox on March 11.
Lester has been lights out this spring. He owns a 0.90 ERA (two earned runs in 20 innings), and he has 16 strikeouts to only four walks. The left-hander last pitched in a minor league game with Triple-A Pawtucket on Friday. He threw 100 pitches (59 strikes) over six innings, allowing two runs on four hits while striking out seven.
Lester is scheduled to be followed by Daniel Bard, Andrew Miller, Junichi Tazawa and Andrew Bailey.
The action at JetBlue Park will start up at 1:35 p.m. ET, so why not keep it here for the duration of your afternoon? I’ll try to make it worth your procrastination.