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Jackie Bradley to join Red Sox in Philadelphia, Alex Wilson to be sent down

05.29.13 at 1:01 am ET
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It was a matter of when, not if.

The Red Sox have been playing with 13 pitchers and 12 position players for longer than manager John Farrell would have liked. That roster distribution reflected the fact that a) the team placed Will Middlebrooks and Shane Victorino on the disabled list last week; b) the team needed extra pitchers given the health concerns surrounding Clay Buchholz and the innings concerns attendant upon starts by Ryan Dempster. So, Alfredo Aceves was added to the big league roster, initially as a long reliever and then as a spot starter, and on Tuesday, Aceves was sent down to Pawtucket so that the team could add Franklin Morales as a potential multi-innings bullpen option.

But after Dempster fired seven innings on Tuesday night and with Buchholz now scheduled to pitch in New York on Friday (following a skipped start due to irritation in his right AC joint), the pitching staff is in solid shape. And so, with the Sox needing an expanded collection of position players for the inevitable pinch-hitting, pinch-running and double-switching situations that will crop up on the road in Philadelphia, the time to reconfigure the roster has arrived.

And so, according to multiple industry sources, Jackie Bradley Jr. will join the club in Philadelphia on Friday. Bradley went 1-for-4 with a double and a walk for Triple-A Pawtucket on Tuesday, continuing a torrid stretch that has seen him forge a .438 average with a .519 OBP and .729 slugging mark during a 12-game hitting streak dating to April 30. The early-season big league struggles that saw the 23-year-old hit just .097/.263/.129 in a dozen games in the majors seem a thing of the distant past. His addition is something of a no-brainer, given not only his scorching stretch but also the fact that he’s the only minor leaguer on the Red Sox 40-man roster who is healthy and can play the outfield.

In order to clear a spot for Bradley, right-hander Alex Wilson is expected to be optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket. In 16 games, the 26-year-old has a 2.50 ERA with 15 strikeouts and nine walks in 18 innings. But, as a reliever with options, the rookie represented the obvious move at a time when the Sox just added Franklin Morales back to the big league roster.

No official roster move will come until Wednesday. Prior to Tuesday’s game, manager John Farrell would say only that Bradley was a “candidate” to be added to the roster, while adding that if he did return to the big leagues, it would be in a reserve capacity.

“If he were the guy to come back,” Farrell said of Bradley, “he would come back as the extra outfielder.”

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