May 18, 2013 at 6:19 PM
Jackie Bradley, Jr. yesterday played in his first game since May 3 after he was activated from the Pawtucket Red Sox' disabled list prior to the club's game against the Gwinnett Braves.
He finished 1 for 3 with a triple, walk, and strikeout.
"It was great," Bradley responded when asked what it was like to be back in the lineup. "Everything’s feeling good and great. It’s just developing and getting back fully healthy, and they gave me a chance [to return].”
Bradley was dealing with tendinitis in his right biceps tendon since April 30. The PawSox originally had the outfielder serve as their designated hitter for three games subsequent to the revelation of his injury, but then placed him on the 7-day disabled list on May 6 (retroactive to May 4).
“It was never really an injury," Bradley said from the PawSox clubhouse on Saturday. "It was more giving my inflamed shoulder a little bit more time [to heal], and all I needed was more time.”
Despite the thrill of returning to the batter's box, Bradley kept his typical patient approach throughout the PawSox' 5-4 victory over the Braves. The 23-year-old saw a total of 29 pitches in five plate appearances, including 11 in his last one in which he drew a walk. He's now seeing 4.13 pitches per plate appearance in 12 Triple-A games.
“I didn’t take a lot of strikes," Bradley said. "I was taking balls, so I was forced to be patient by seeing a lot of balls go by. If the pitchers were feeling up the strike zone a bit more, I probably would have hacked a lot sooner."
More important than Bradley's approach is his swing, which the outfielder says has not undergone any mechanical changes as a result of his biceps tendinitis. His swing and health are in good form, and he feels ready to return to normalcy.
“I feel the same. Everything’s back to normal. I’m ready to get back out there and play every day.”
Photo Credit: Jackie Bradley, Jr. by Kelly O'Connor
Kevin Pereira is a Staff Writer for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @kevinrpereira.