In all likelihood, David Ortiz is days away from his return to the Red Sox, which almost certainly means Jackie Bradley Jr.'s first stint in the majors is nearing an end. But the Red Sox have not yet broached that subject with the rookie outfielder. "We haven't said, 'When A happens, B is going to happen,'" manager John Farrell said today. "That's like inviting him to a place and then asking, 'When are you going to leave?'" All along, though, the Red Sox indicated that Bradley would remain in the majors only if he continued to play every day. And because he's mired in an 0-for-20 slump -- his last hit came in the second inning April 5 in Toronto -- and is batting .097 (3-for-31) overall, he's no longer a staple in the lineup. In fact, the lefty-hitting Bradley is sitting out a second consecutive game tonight, even though the Red Sox are facing another right-handed pitcher. Rather than putting Bradley back in left field against Indians ace Justin Masterson, the Red Sox are sticking with Daniel Nava. But they're also giving lefty-hitting first baseman Mike Carp his first start of the season and moving Mike Napoli to designated hitter. Farrell has had other recent talks with Bradley, but the conversation has been centered on his struggles at the plate. The Red Sox have long been impressed with Bradley's maturity, and Farrell said his demeanor during the first sustained slump of his major league career has been unchanged. "He's handled it very well," Farrell said. "If he's frustrated, we would expect that to a certain extent. But it hasn't affected his work. We know he's getting challenged right now, too. That's where these sit-down conversations become important, just to get a sense of where he's at mentally, what he's feeling at the plate. You have the give and take of what you see versus what he feels. Most importantly, to know that we're here with him, we're here working with him and supporting him. That's the overall tone of that."
Slump is another learning experience for Red Sox rookie Jackie Bradley Jr.
Boston Herald | Apr 17