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Farrell: Young players need time to watch

BOSTON -- Jackie Bradley Jr., who took a .200 average into Sunday night's game, was back in the lineup after getting a day off on Saturday.

Red Sox manager John Farrell hoped the center fielder benefited from the chance to be a spectator for a day.

"I think the need comes up for almost every player, regardless of age, where a breather can be helpful," said Farrell. "But I think when you look at Xander [Bogaerts] or Jackie, in their particular case, the ability to sit and watch a game from the dugout can be beneficial. Being a left-handed hitter, in Jackie's case, how are the left-handed pitchers attacking those hitters in that case, just to see it differently without the in-game emotion that might be attached to it."

If things start clicking for Bogaerts and Bradley, the fortunes of the Red Sox could improve greatly. But there's never any telling when young players will take the next step.

"I think the game will speed up on everybody, regardless of their age," Farrell said. "It might happen more readily for a guy who's less experienced. When you see some of the actions inside the game or in between the lines, that might lend to them speeding up emotionally, that's when you might take a brief step back to let them regroup, and we're hopeful that that happens. I think we've seen it with Xander in short stints where we've held him out, and hopefully Jackie's been able to benefit from a day down yesterday."

Ian Browne is a reporter for Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne.
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