Jackie Bradley Jr. is on the Red Sox’s Opening Day roster after all, but it took an injury for Shane Victorino to make it happen.
Bradley lost the center field job to Grady Sizemore and was sent to Triple-A after hitting just .158 during spring training, but he’s been recalled from the minors because Victorino is headed to the disabled list with a strained hamstring.
Bradley, however, is not in the Opening Day lineup. Daniel Nava is getting the start in right field and Mike Carp is getting the start in left field against Orioles right-hander Chris Tillman.
Per The Athletic’s Matt Gelb, Phillies starter Zack Wheeler will miss at least two starts when his wife goes into labor and gives birth to their first child, expected to be later this month. Wheeler, in fact, is not sure if he will return to play at all once their child is born.
Wheeler said, “We just have to see how things are here at the field and at the stadium. I’m happy with what I see so far. But things could change, especially once our baby’s born. I always think about what’s going on around me. Is it safe? Is it OK? Literally every single day. I have to just ask myself that. I’m going to continue to keep asking myself that every day.”
Wheeler, 30, inked a five-year, $118 million contract with the Phillies in December. He is slated for the No. 2 spot in the rotation behind Aaron Nola. Last season, with the Mets, Wheeler posted a 3.96 ERA with 195 strikeouts and 50 walks over 195 1/3 innings.
The No. 5 spot in the Phillies’ rotation is currently up for grabs between Nick Pivetta, Vince Velasquez, Ranger Suárez, and prospect Spencer Howard. One of the remaining three could fill in for Wheeler when he needs time off, temporarily or otherwise.