Young Red Sox outfielder makes season debut; Victorino set to rejoin club
By Jamie Ross
TORONTO -- Jackie Bradley Jr.'s right ear still hadn't popped as he arrived at Rogers Centre on Sunday, a day after being recalled to the Red Sox from Triple-A Pawtucket.
"Still clogged up a little bit, I still can't hear out of the right side," said Bradley, who along with knuckleball reliever Steven Wright flew to Toronto late Saturday only to endure a nearly 30-minute delay on the airport tarmac before finally arriving at the team hotel sometime after 1 a.m. ET.
The pair were brought up from the PawSox as the club optioned outfielder Allen Craig and reliever Robbie Ross Jr. following Saturday's loss to the Blue Jays, the team's seventh in eight games.
Craig, who was dealt to the Red Sox along with Joe Kelly in a trade for John Lackey, hadn't been able to live up to his pre-2014 performance. For a three-year stretch with the Cardinals, between 2011-13, the outfielder hit .313 with 46 homers. He finished in the top 20 in National League MVP voting in two of those seasons, but couldn't recapture that prowess with the Red Sox.
He was hitting .135 with one homer through 24 games this season.
Red Sox manager John Farrell said sending Craig down was a difficult decision.
"This is as much about Allen as it is us and the current stretch that we're going through," Farrell said. "It felt like the best, most clear path to get us back on track was to have every player hopefully performing to the best of their abilities, and for Allen, that means more regular at-bats at Triple-A for the time being."
Bradley was hitting .343 (34-for-99) with one homer in 24 games for Pawtucket. He hit eighth and played right field in Sunday's series finale.
Farrell said he expects Bradley will share time in the right with Shane Victorino, who's expected to rejoin the club Sunday before he's activated for the team's upcoming series against Oakland.
"When Vic gets back to us, he'll get [starts against] left-handed starters, if not more," he said. "But Jackie's arrival here gives us a premium defender. Certainly like him against a lot of right-handed pitching. So we'll find the right matchups. I'm not going to say it's a strict platoon situation by any means."
In other transaction news, the Red Sox dealt reliever Edward Mujica and cash to the A's in exchange for a player to be named or cash. Mujica was designated for assignment Friday.
Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.