Jackie Bradley Jr. on approach: 'Not where I want to be right now'

March 25, 2014 - 1:27 pm

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Much as the day-to-day performances of Jackie Bradley Jr. dominated spring training in 2013, the 2014 exhibition season has focused primarily on the lightning in a bottle that the Red Sox appear to have caught with their buy-low signing of Grady Sizemore, a player who continued his strong spring with a long home run to right field against left-hander Cesar Ramos. Conversely, Bradley has having a spring that represents ... the converse of his 2013 Grapefruit League mastery. He went 0-for-4 on Tuesday with a pair of strikeouts (one swinging, one looking), a foul pop-up and a groundout. For the spring, he's hitting .173 with a .232 OBP and .288 slugging mark along with three walks and 16 strikeouts in his 56 plate appearances. His self-evaluation of his approach? "Not where I want to be right now," said Bradley. "I'm recognizing pitches but I'm not putting the swings I want to put on them. It's a work in progress." Manager John Farrell downplayed Bradley's struggles. "He's just missing some pitches that are in the strike zone," he said. "You can't say that he's trying to do too much. At times, you see him taking a good, compact swing. Sometimes you see him get a little long at times. Nothing drastic. Just a little bit of the timing right now." Bradley shrugged off the notion that his struggles might reflect a player who was overeager to impress in an attempt to win his competition for the starting job in center field. "Spring training. You want to do well during the season. Spring training is just spring training," said Bradley. "It's to get ready for the season."