Bradley back in lineup, upbeat despite struggles

Bradley back in lineup, upbeat despite struggles

BALTIMORE -- You'd never know after talking to Jackie Bradley Jr. that he is hitting .203.

After receiving back-to-back days off by manager John Farrell so he could try to regroup offensively, the Red Sox center fielder seemed eager to get a chance to start proving himself again Wednesday against Orioles leftyWei-Yin Chen.

"I feel great," said Bradley. "The body feels great and we'll see. We'll let the play on the field take care of itself. I don't want to say this and that just because talk is cheap. We want to see some action."

Bradley has created plenty of action in center, making all the routine plays and quite a few spectacular ones. But his bat remains a work in progress.

Though Farrell was perhaps trying to take some pressure off Bradley by allowing him to sit for a couple of days, the center fielder seemed to be holding up just fine.

"It is what the lineup is," Bradley said. "Obviously everybody wants to be in there every single day, especially if your body permits it. if you're healthy, you want to play. You want guys who want to play every single day. That's how you get the best out of everybody. I guess it can be used however you want to take it. I definitely came back in here every day just working like if I was in the lineup. I think that's how you have to approach it."

Even if Bradley said he didn't need the time off, Farrell hopes it helps him.

"Well, with Jackie or other players who have had some challenging moments, you give them a chance to kind of clear their head, give them a chance to reinforce the things he's been working on with [hitting coaches Victor Rodriguez and Greg Colbrunn]," Farrell said. "And that's to be a little bit short on the ball and more than anything, control his effort level that can lead to some inconsistent hitting mechanics. That's what we intended."

Ian Browne is a reporter for Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.