John Farrell explains Red Sox approach toward Jackie Bradley

Rob Bradford
August 09, 2014 - 4:35 pm

ANAHEIM --  John Farrell wanted to make it clear Saturday that the Red Sox are simply taking step back with Jackie Bradley, not running away all together. Bradley wasn'€™t in the starting lineup for the fourth time in the five games on the Sox'€™ current road trip. And while the center fielder had entered two of the games as a defensive replacement '€“ making one of the most spectacular catches of the season in the eighth inning Friday '€“ there hasn'€™t been much of an opportunity to get out of what has been a horrific slump (0 for his last 27). But, as Farrell explained, Bradley and the Red Sox are attempting to use the time out of the lineup wisely. "Well, one, we need (his playing time) to increase," the manager said. "And yet there's a stretch of time here where we're addressing some things. He's aware of the approach we're taking. We sat down and met with him yesterday on what the thought is. We don't want him to be questioning his abilities or where does he stand. Just emphasizing the need for the early work to make the adjustments. "We've talked about the players we're trying to get as best and as long a read as we can, and Jackie's one of them. And that's going to require consistent playing time going forward." There have been signs for Bradley. This is a player who hit .297 with an .876 OPS in the minor leagues, who also showed some life in July with a .278 batting average in July. "It's one of the reasons he moved to the big leagues so quick," said Farrell of the outfielder'€™s offensive potential. "He's been a consistent performer and yet the first time he's been challenged on two occasions as been at this level. And that's up to all of us involved to make the necessary adjustments, and that's what he's working through." Until that offense is sorted out, there is always the defense. "His reads off the bat are better than any outfielder I've ever seen," the manager noted. "Seemingly he's on the move as the ball's going through the hitting zone, even before contact is made. There are a lot of other outfielders than are faster than him in the league, and yet I think he's probably got the most range of anybody in the game, and it's because of the instincts."