Red Sox

Jackie Bradley Jr. could return midweek

Jackie Bradley Jr. could return midweek

Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr.’s making progress on his way back from a right knee sprain, taking some swings in the cage and doing agility drills on the field. Bradley’s wearing a brace on the knee.

The first day Bradley can come off the disabled list is Wednesday, and a return then is a possibility, John Farrell said.

“I think there is. I wouldn’t rule it out at this point,” the Red Sox manager said. “Particularly with his comments on how he feels coming out of the strength tests he’s going through… He’s been upbeat, he feels good and I think the brace gives him added confidence and stability as he gets acclimated to it. Wouldn’t rule it out.”

Bradley may be able to help out David Price and vice versa as the latter goes through his own rehab process.

Price may well face live hitters next week, if his bullpen Saturday goes well. By then, Bradley could use some simulated at-bats (if not a rehab assignment).

Kimbrel returns to Red Sox after daughter's heart surgery

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Kimbrel returns to Red Sox after daughter's heart surgery

All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel returned to Fort Myers on Sunday after his 4-month-old daughter underwent successful heart surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital, and the Red Sox are confident he'll be ready for Opening Day.

“Oh, yeah. Plenty,” manager Alex Cora replied when asked if Kimbrel had time to get ready for the March 29 opener against the Rays in St. Petersburg. “With him it’s a different schedule, anyway. He’ll be ready.”

Kimbrel's daughter, Lydia Joy, was born with a heart defect. He left the team Feb. 28 to be with her and his family in Boston, but pitching coach Dana Levangie said Kimbrel was on a pitching program during that time.

“The most important thing is that the family is okay with [Kimbrel returning to the Sox],” Cora said. “If they’re okay with it, we’re okay with it.”

The Baseball Show Podcast: Should we be confident in the Red Sox rotation?

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The Baseball Show Podcast: Should we be confident in the Red Sox rotation?

0:21 - With less than two week before the beginning of the 2018 season, the Red Sox don’t have all of the answers for their rotation. Lou Merloni and Evan Drellich project their Opening Day rotation and discuss the lack of depth in it.

4:39 - Will Boston’s version of the ‘Killer B’s’ return in full force this season? Lou and Evan analyze the performances of Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Andrew Benintendi.

10:07 - Buy or sell? John Farrell will find another managerial position this season; J.D. Martinez will have a better season than Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton; Dave Dombrowski has put the best possible team out there for 2018.