BOS@PHI: Bradley's three-run homer opens scoring

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Jackie Bradley Jr. is still in limbo, and he'll probably stay there until the Opening Day roster is submitted Sunday afternoon.

"Nobody's given me any inclinations or anything. I'm just playing the waiting game," the 22-year-old phenom said Friday.

With Boston deciding not to purchase Ryan Sweeney's contract, the numbers game appears to suggest that Bradley, who is ranked the organization's No. 2 prospect, should slide neatly into the final remaining vacancy for a position player. Since Bradley isn't on the 40-man roster, the Sox either need to trade or designate somebody for assignment.

"We've got to work through the roster to get him to that point, so that's why it's not a given, it's not an absolute that he's in New York [for Opening Day]," said manager John Farrell. "He's done a great job. We've talked about it -- and rightfully so - daily, but we're not there to officially announce it.

"If Jackie ends up being on this club, as we've said all along, the main criteria for us to include him is to make sure he's got everyday at-bats. So that could be one [factor]. Until it's official, yeah, there would be a scenario [in which he doesn't make the team]. But that means someone's going to come from someone that's already been sent out or we look to do something different."

The latter comment suggests the possibility of a trade if the organization doesn't believe it can assure Bradley will get enough playing time at the Major League level until designated hitter David Ortiz is ready to play.

Bradley is hitting .433 with a 1.154 OPS this spring.

After healthy spring, Dempster ready to face Yanks

Dempster on his new team, preparing for 2013 season

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- After showering and doing his postgame interviews, right-hander Ryan Dempster picked up a blue binder with a label identifying it as the Red Sox's 2013 advance scouting report on the Yankees before leaving Hammond Stadium on Friday.

It was a sure sign that Spring Training is almost over, that the attention has now turned to the upcoming regular season. Dempster is scheduled to pitch the Sox's third game at Yankee Stadium and it's time for him to begin that preparation.

"I'm ready for the season to start, so it's exciting to get through camp healthy and I'm looking forward to going out there Thursday and pitching," said Dempster, who allowed three runs, three hits, three walks and struck out four over four frames of the Red Sox's 8-3 loss to the Twins. "It's been a really good camp health-wise. I feel really good and my pitches are coming together nicely."

This will be the first time that Dempster has been a participant in the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry after signing as a free agent last offseason, and he's looking forward to it.

"It's exciting," said Dempster. "It's a really unique experience that you don't get playing for another team. At the same time, you've got to control those emotions and treat it like any other game, even though I think the players are the only ones who do that. It will be a lot of fun."

In six Grapefruit League starts, Dempster was 1-2 with a 3.74 ERA.

"He should be happy," said manager John Farrell. "He got through it healthy and gained arm strength as he went along. I thought he used all his assortment of pitches [Friday] and to finish out with 70-some pitches, which was the outing we designed for him. He goes into the start of the year in good shape."

Defensive versatility nets Carp backup job

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- When the Red Sox acquired Mike Carp from the Mariners early in Spring Training, Seattle got a player to be named or cash considerations -- and Carp received no guarantees. At that time, he was another guy in the mix to give Boston some depth at first base behind Mike Napoli.

That all changed Friday morning, when he was summoned into manager John Farrell's office at JetBlue Park and told that he will be with the team when the regular season opens Monday at Yankee Stadium.

"They just told me I'm on and what my role would be -- left field, first base, back up all of them. Get ready for the year. It's going to be a fun year," Carp said. "I knew something was going to happen regardless after all the [moves], knowing there are only a couple cuts left. Either way I figured I'd find out. It's definitely better this way."

Said Farrell: "The ability to go to first base weighed heavily in this, and you could say it was a deciding factor, the defensive versatility. That's not to take anything away from Ryan Sweeney. He's a very good player, can play all three outfield positions. We felt like that flexibility to go to first base was key in this."

Farrell was asked why Sweeney wasn't given a chance to compete for a spot at first.

"It was talked about initially, but in fairness to him, he's always been an outfielder," said Farrell. "We didn't feel like where with the other guys have had first base play in their past, that's where we focused on."

Carp is hitting just .182 in 23 Grapefruit League games with a .234 on base percentage and a .310 slugging percentage.

"It's definitely a work in progress," said Carp. "It always is. In baseball, you're always constantly making adjustments. Right now, it doesn't look like I'm having the best [spring], but I feel great up there. I feel comfortable, I feel like I'm right where I want to be, and I'm excited for the season to start."

"It's a better opportunity than I would have had in Seattle, to be on the Opening Day roster. This is only my second one. To be a part of this, I'm excited."

Carp wasn't the only Red Sox player to learn his fate Friday, as Farrell said reliever Clayton Mortensen will be on the Opening Day roster.

"Right now, he's on our team. He's in our bullpen," said Farrell.