11:32 a.m.: Just a friendly reminder that NESN’s coverage of Opening Day on Monday will begin at 11 a.m.
That’s two hours of baseball coverage leading up to the start of the regular season. Anyone else fired up?
11:15 a.m.: The lineup cards are in, and Jackie Bradley Jr. is not in the starting nine.
Getting the start as the designated hitter on Saturday will be Daniel Nava, who earned himself a roster spot with a very impressive spring — even if it may have flown under the radar due to Bradley’s amazing production.
Check out Saturday’s lineup below.
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Shane Victorino, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Mike Napoli, 1B
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Jonny Gomes, LF
Daniel Nava, DH
Jose Iglesias, SS
Felix Doubront, P
10:30 a.m.: As the Jackie Bradley Jr. watch continues, we’ve got some news to pass along.
Bradley will travel with the team to New York, according to The Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham. That seems to suggest that Bradley has a good chance of making the major league roster, although nothing is official. I’ll certainly keep my ears open and my eyes peeled, though, as this is obviously the biggest decision facing the Red Sox right now.
8 a.m ET: One game. That’s all that separates the Red Sox from the regular season.
The Sox finish up their Grapefruit League schedule on Saturday with a game against the Twins, who defeated Boston 8-3 on Friday. The Red Sox enter the game with a 16-17-1 record this spring, although let’s be honest, none of that really matters.
What really matters is that the Red Sox are two days from starting up the 2013 regular season in the Bronx, and it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what this season will hold for Boston. The Sox have certainly had their share of bright spots this spring, though, including the impressive performance of the starting rotation, the apparent change in clubhouse culture and the emergence of Jackie Bradley Jr.
Bradley’s Opening Day fate still hangs in the balance, but it’d be surprising if he didn’t open up the season with the big league club. Since the Sox decided on Thursday night not to purchase Ryan Sweeney’s contract, it seems that the only thing separating Bradley from the majors is clearing a spot on the 40-man roster and making a formal announcement.
We’ll see if that announcement comes on Saturday, although manager John Farrell said he does expect to take his time with the decision.
Felix Doubront will get his final tune-up on Saturday. He’s scheduled to be followed by Joel Hanrahan, Koji Uehara, Andrew Miller and Andrew Bailey.
Saturday’s first pitch is expected to be delivered at 1:35 p.m. ET. Coverage of the game will be provided on NESNplus, as the Bruins will be in action on NESN. If you’re unsure as to what channel is NESNplus for you, click the link below to view Saturday’s listings.
Click here to view Saturday’s NESNplus listings >>