Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

MLB Rumors: Boston Red Sox center field job is Jackie Bradley's to lose

The Boston Red Sox have two options for their center field job, which was vacated by Jacoby Ellsbury this off-season: hot prospect Jackie Bradley Jr. and reclamation project Grady Sizemore.

Both men are looking to rebound from disappointing 2013 seasons. In Bradley’s case that is because he underachieved after setting the world on fire early in the season and getting Sox Nation excited about him; in the end he batted .189/.280/.337 in 37 big league games. In Sizemore’s case that is because he lost another season to injury and would just simply like to stay on the field.

As these two battle for the starting job in center, Alex Speier of WEEI writes that Bradley has the upper hand and that it is his job to lose:

The Opening Day job in center field is almost surely Bradley’s, and it’s certainly his to lose. Still…

…the Sox saw considerable progress in the 23-year-old in each of his four call-ups last year, culminating in a solid (if unspectacular) September in which he hit .243 with a .317 OBP and .378 slugging mark. If he looks comfortable in the big league setting, then the Sox can arrive at Opening Day confident in the timing of the start of the Bradley era.”

If he struggles that would potentially open the door for Sizemore, whose task is formidable this spring as he must prove that he can stay healthy and that he can still produce something like the fantastic five-tool player that he once was.

The Red Sox have uncertainty in that spot, but not without promise from their two primary options to replace Ellsbury.

Tags: Boston Red Sox Grady Sizemore Jackie Bradley Jr.

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