JBJ nearing return to action from injured knee

JBJ nearing return to action from injured knee

BOSTON -- The update on center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr., who is on the 10-day disabled list with a right knee sprain, is "very good," according to Red Sox manager John Farrell.

Bradley took batting practice on the field on Friday, six days after he sustained the injury. And there's a chance Bradley can be activated on Wednesday in Toronto, the first day he is eligible.

"I wouldn't rule it out at this point," Farrell said. "Particularly with his comments on how he feels coming out of the strength tests he's going through, kind of the work they're putting him through. He's been upbeat, he feels good and I think the brace gives him added confidence and stability as he gets acclimated to it."

Bradley has made steady progress since the freak accident in the ninth inning of Saturday's game in Detroit, when he got his left foot stuck in the dirt while rounding first and fell on his right knee.

"Good day today again from a rehab and agility standpoint," Farrell said.

Bradley had been playing some of the best defense of his career to start this season, making four catches that were rated four-star grabs by Statcast™ in the first four games of the season. Two of those gems came on the day he got hurt.

Statcast: Bradley Jr.'s catches

Andrew Benintendi has been playing center during Bradley's absence, with Chris Young coming off the bench to play left.

WORTH NOTING
Hanley Ramirez's attempt to play first base has been a methodical process. He was slowed all of Spring Training by a right shoulder injury. And when he was finally making progress with his throwing program early in the season, he got influenza and was away from the team for four consecutive days.

Ramirez has been swinging the bat well as the DH, but the Red Sox would like for him to be able to play first against left-handers this season to give Farrell more flexibility with his bench. The next lefty Boston faces is Blake Snell, on Monday. It's doubtful Ramirez will play defense by then.

Hanley drives in two, Betts out

"He didn't put a ball in his hand for four or five straight days with the rainout and the four days missed," said Farrell. "I know for a fact he thrives on the DH spot -- that's probably his preference overall. But in conversations throughout the winter, once we acquired Mitch [Moreland], the conversations throughout Spring Training, he understands how our roster is built. He's not boycotting it, but I know where his preference lies. What's best for our team, too, is him going to first base on occasion."

• A couple of days after knuckleballer Steven Wright endured one of the worst outings of his career, Tim Wakefield monitored his side session at Fenway Park. Wakefield also was in the clubhouse talking to Wright before Friday's game. A 200-game winner in the Majors, Wakefield is one of the best knuckleball pitchers of all-time. He has worked frequently with Wright through good and bad times.

"It's invaluable," said Farrell. "Because I even know when Wake would go through some things he would tap Charlie Hough or Tom Candiotti. It's a close-knit fraternity and a very small one. But the fact we've got one in-house is a great resource."

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.