Wednesday's pregame notes: Red Sox contemplating outfield of Jackie Bradley Jr., Grady Sizemore, Shane Victorino

April 09, 2014 - 11:20 am
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Once Shane Victorino works his way back from a hamstring injury (and a case of the flu), the Red Sox outfield may get a little crowded. Both Jackie Bradley Jr. and Grady Sizemore have been playing well, and manager John Farrell said that the Red Sox are contemplating scenarios that would feature all three of those outfielders once Victorino is activated, given the possibility boost such a grouping would have on the team's run prevention. "All of those alignments are thought of," said Farrell. "How we get to that point remains to be seen with roster adjustments. The one thing that continues to bear out is the outfield defense and placing a premium on that." An alignment of Bradley, Sizemore and Victorino would undoubtedly give the Red Sox one of the defensive outfields in the league, but carrying all three would require some roster shuffling, with Daniel Nava, Jonny Gomes and Mike Carp all part of the outfield mix. If Bradley and Sizemore remain in the big leagues when Victorino is activated, the Sox will likely have to make a move to clear one of those other three outfielders off the 25-man roster. For more on the Sox' incentive to feature a Sizemore/Bradley/Victorino alignment, click here. OTHER RED SOX NOTES -- Craig Breslow will join the club after being activated from the disabled list after Tuesday night's game. The left-hander made three appearances for the PawSox, allowing just one hit in 2 2/3 innings. He'll join Andrew Miller and Chris Capuano as southpaw options available to Farrell. "Initially we'€™ll probably get him in some lower leverage situations, just to see he gets in the flow of things," Farrell said prior to Wednesday afternoon's game. "But as Craig has shown for quite some time, there'€™s a dependability of strike-throwing, with the upcoming series and the number of left-handers in given lineups, that'€™s going to be a plus for us to have that third left-hander." -- One of the aforementioned left-handers the Red Sox will be seeing tomorrow is Jacoby Ellsbury, playing against his former team for the first time as a Yankee. The Red Sox will need a game plan to contain Ellsbury, who has gotten off to a hot start with his new club.

"Obviously, the biggest thing is to keep him off the bases. He can create a lot of havoc," Farrell said. "It was fun to see him in your own uniform, and as dynamic a player he can be, he's going to benefit from the dimensions in that ballpark, but I think we've got a pretty clear understanding of where his strengths are, and how we execute to that will be the key for us trying to control him."

-- Victorino and Will Middlebrooks both continue to make progress with their respective leg injuries.

"[Victorino] is on the field today with  some ground base conditioning work," Farrell said. "Both he and Will, their baseball activities will start to ramp up over the weekend."

Middlebrooks has done some running in a pool and some cardio work, and both are in what Farrell refers to as "that pre-baseball activity conditioning phase."

There is no timetable for either's return, but both will travel with the team on the road trip.

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