When spring training began, Jackie Bradley Jr. had "no shot" of making the Boston Red Sox Opening Day roster. Now - within two weeks of the start of the regular season -- a source told Sean McAdam of CSN New England that the outfielder has a "50-50" chance to break camp with the Red Sox.
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Bradley's chances for making the major league roster have increased due to several factors. Injuries to designated hitter David Ortiz and shortstop Stephen Drew have taken two left-handed bats out of Boston's lineup. Bradley bats from the left side of the plate, and he's been extremely productive this spring -- hitting .444/.545/.578 with three doubles and one home run over 55 plate appearances.
But there is another factor that complicates Bradley's chances of making the team. If Boston limits the 23-year-old's time in the bigs this year, they can delay his service clock and keep him from hitting the open market until 2019. However, if Bradley spends more than 172 days in the majors, he'll be free agent eligible in '18.
Bradley is a former first-round pick who hasn't played above Double-A. Last season he hit .315/.430/.482 with 42 doubles and nine home runs between two levels of the minors.