Red Sox dugout news: Jackie Bradley Jr. is magic hitter No. 9

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 07: Jackie Bradley Jr.
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 07: Jackie Bradley Jr. /

Boston Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. has found his sweet spot batting No. 9 in the Sox lineup.

Jackie Bradley Jr. mesmerize Boston Red Sox fans with his superb defense on a nightly basis.  Offensively, however, frustration comes to mind when describing the feelings of most fans when it comes to the inconsistency of the center fielder’s bat.

Don’t get me wrong, if the rest of the offense is potent, any production from Bradley Jr. would be considered a nice bonus.  Especially considering he prevents just as many runs defensively than he produces offensively.

Okay, that is a bit of a stretch.

What’s not a stretch is Bradley Jr.’s production from the No. 9 hole.  As inconsistent as he has been offensively, his numbers when hitting from the last spot in the lineup has to be more than a coincidence.

BOSTON, MA – MAY 27: Jackie Bradley Jr.
BOSTON, MA – MAY 27: Jackie Bradley Jr. /

According to WEEI’s Rob Bradford, the 2016 Gold Glove finalist is hitting .324 in the nine spot.  Seems like the perfect spot for him right?

Not buying it

Well, Red Sox manager John Farrell doesn’t really buy into where Bradley Jr. bats in the lineup.

"“I don’t know.  I don’t know that Jackie would buy into it either,” Farrell said, via WEEI.  “I know that he doesn’t believe the spot in the order has a significance on how he performs.  It might be because when he’s in that nine-hold, he’s got Mookie [Betts} right behind him.  I think that has to do with who is on deck.  Pitchers are going to pick their poison on who they look to attack a little more generally or aggressively.  Does he possibly benefit by that?  You could make a statement that’s one of the reasons.”"

Okay, I could buy that.  In baseball, as we all know, you have to go with what is working.  Right now, Jackie Bradley Jr. as the team’s No. 9 hitter appears to be the best option for the team.  The numbers are standing behind that notion.

Power at No. 9

Speaking of numbers, Jackie Bradley Jr. launched a two-run homer Saturday to help the Boston Red Sox win their fifth straight ball game.

The blast that catapulted a 4-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox came with Bradley Jr. also hitting in the ninth spot.  More proof that’s where he belongs in the lineup.

Following the game, however, Bradley Jr. said he wasn’t aware of the numbers and approaches his at-bats the same way no matter where he hits in the lineup. He also doesn’t think where a certain player hits in the lineup affects how pitchers approach a batter.

"“I’m sure pitchers aren’t pitching to a spot in the lineup to me.  They’re pitching to me as a ballplayer, no matter what part of the lineup I’m hitting.  There aren’t scouting reports on a spot in the lineup.”More from Chowder and Champions3 Midseason Chaim Bloom Decisions That Have Killed the 2023 Red Sox10 Patriots Who Will Be Cut by Tuesday’s Roster DeadlineMLB Screws Red Sox Fans With Broadcast for Mookie Betts Return3 Most Underpaid Celtics Heading Into the 2023 SeasonRed Sox Continue Rollercoaster Season With Massive Win"

Bradley Jr.’s home run in Saturday’s game came in the bottom of the 2nd with the team already leading 2-1 on a two-run blast off the bat of Andrew Benintendi.

Dustin Pedroia nearing return 

When will second baseman Dustin Pedroia return to the Boston Red Sox lineup?

According to Farrell, Pedroia could make his return in the next couple days, precisely Tuesday night when the team takes on the Rays in Tampa Bay.

"“Today was a key day in his return – in his potential return,” Farrell said before Sunday’s game against the White Sox, via The Providence Journal.  “Today was a really strong day for him.”"

Pedroia had a 45-minute session that involved 35 swings in the batting cage as well as fielding ground balls.  He hasn’t played since a July 28 game where he suffered a knee injury.

Next: Red Sox extra bases: Rafael Devers is custom made for Fenway Park

Before he was placed on the 10-day disabled list, Dustin Pedroia was swinging a hot bat.  Hopefully he can return to that status once he returns.