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Saturday, 13 May 2017 03:44

The Red Sox Cannot Continue Starting Jackie Bradley Junior

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The Red Sox Cannot Continue Starting Jackie Bradley Junior Vice Sports

The Red Sox defensivly elite center fielder, Jackie Bradley Junior, cannot continue to start for the Boston because of one main reason. 

Jackie Bradley has slowly shown Red Sox nation why he will never become the player that we all thought he was going to be when he reached the major league level back in 2013.

Baseball is a two way street. To be considered a great player you need to withhold the ability to be a serviceable player both defensively and offense. But of course you do not need to absolutely excel at both. If you are immensely talented at one, you can afford to be mediocre at the other. But in order to maintain that right, you need to truly be at the top of the charts in regards to your respective side.

If you are going to lack in the offensive categories, than you must excel defensively and vice versa. And honestly, this has been the case for Red Sox center fielder, Jackie Bradley Jr. for quite some time.

Bradley has always been known for his stellar defensive skillset. My father was at a game where Bradley made an immaculate diving catch where he was fully extended and basically facing the bleachers once the ball made contact with his glove. He is unbelievable out there and truth be told, you notice it more when Boston decides to play somebody else in center field.

There has been a handful of times where a ball is hit towards the gap or hit over the head of the interim center fielder, whoever it may be, and when they are unable to make the play I think to myself, “Jackie Bradley would have caught that ball”. That is how out of this world incredible Bradley is with the glove on. And when I say glove, I mean fielding glove, because my oh my, I cannot tell you how ATROCIOUS Bradley is with his batting gloves on at the plate.

Bradley has slowly become a black hole, and frankly, an automatic out in the lineup. It has reached the point in my opinion that he is so deplorable offensively that the Red Sox should think about truly making him apart of their bench.

He is one of those players that I was speaking of before. He has always been so exceptional in center field that I have always said that if he were to hit .250 for the season, I am satisfied with that result. He saves so many runs by making plays that only he would be able to make that having him be less than ordinary at the plate would be alright.

But that just isn’t the case with Bradley. In the 2017 season Bradley has been so despicable with the bat in his hand that I am calling for his job. And I don’t want this to happen. I just got over my hatred for John Farrell to the point where I made a notice of it on Twitter that Farrell has been doing a solid job managing this year. And believe me, that is a big step for me. But after watching the remainder of tonight’s Red Sox vs. Rays matchup, and another Bradley zero for four night, I just can’t take it anymore.

Bradley’s average currently sits at .171 and I do not see any improvement in sight from the lefty. After riding the pine for 3 consecutive games, Bradley showed some spark and homered in his first at bat back in the starting lineup and eventually notched a second base hit bringing his night on Wednesday to two for four.

But it’s like reading the same book, over and over when it comes to the speedy center fielder. Once he shows some spark, the fire department shows up and dowses it in water and puts it right out.

In 70 plate appearances this season Bradley has put together a measly 12 hits. We are almost a month and a half into the season and he has 12 hits. Let that sink in.

And I can already here people telling me to calm down because it is so early in the year. But let me be the first to tell you that if the Red Sox continue to let Bradley be a black hole in the lineup like he has been all year, then he will continue to personally rip away scoring opportunities just like he did tonight with a man on third base striking out on a full count as he allowed strike three to knick the outer half of the plate.

That at bat proved to you tonight how mentally clogged up he is at the plate currently. He has no idea what to do and he is afraid to get out. It is clear as day and was massively evident as he let strike three whip right on by in a tight game with the count full. He was praying for a walk.

Bradley continuously rips away run opportunities and does absolutely nothing to help this team score. I wish there were a position called designated fielder. That would solve all of these issues because Bradley would be the Tom Brady of that job. If you do not understand what I mean there I am saying that Tom Brady is the greatest player to ever be at his position and Bradley could be too if he were a designated fielder. Maybe they would even make an MLB The Show “G.O.A.T” edition and put Bradley on it. Get it?

And this has been the story of Bradley’s career thus far in the majors. He was sent down to triple-A Pawtucket each season up until 2016 to adjust his hitting. In 2015 he played just 74 major league games while he attempted to hone his skill offensively in Pawtucket.

His batting average has reached over .250 just one time so far in his three full years of major league experience. And that was last season where at one point he was hitting close to .350 by the end of May but as the season wound down his average PLUMITED to .267. It dropped over 70 points from May through September.

And after May where he was able to wrack up a month long average of .381 during his immaculate hitting streak that lead the majors, he only came close to hitting .300 for a month just one more time where he hit .298 in July. He followed those numbers up by hitting .198 in August and .256 in September.

Jackie Bradley is just simply not worth starting anymore. And believe me, I understand that as of right now under the circumstances you need to start him because of Hanley Ramirez’s injury holding him out of the game causing Chris Young to DH. But I am being honest when I say the moment that Hanley is good enough to once again become your DH, you sit Bradley, move Benintendi into center where he has played his entire life, and play Chris Young in left. Because I cannot watch Bradley hit anymore. He is too unreliable and is a momentum killer.

Bradley no longer can start for this team if they want to win the American League East. There are two more legitimate contenders in this division in New York and Baltimore, and because of that the urgency to eliminate plugs in the lineup is strong. Farrell must evaluate this as an option because if not, we will be witnessing more nights like this where Bradley is up in a clutch moment and he will swing and miss without a doubt. 



Nick Quaglia

Nick is a contributer to the CLNS Red Sox beat team. He is a opinion piece writer who also breaks down games as well as previewing them. You can hear him fill in for some of the CLNS Red Sox Beat Podcasts when needed. 

Nick also owns and operates his own sports blog called CouchGuySports.com where he and a collection of other writers discuss all of the hottest news in sports from Chicago, Boston and New York. 

Previously, he was an intern for WEEI Sports Radio Network's, "The Dale & Holley Show featuring Jerry Thornton". Here, he also was and still is one of the cohosts for WEEI.com's "Teeing Off" golf podcast. 

Sports radio has been apart of Nick's life for the past four years as he has cohosted WDJM 91.3 FM Ram Radio's, "The Sports Huddle" as well as "Draft Day". 

He is a recent, 2016 graduate from Framingham State University with a degree in Communication Arts. 

Nick's a big time Sox fan and passionate for the team. Let's go Sox!

Check him out on Twitter @NickQuag!