NEW YORK -- Mired in one of the worst slumps of his career, Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. didn't start for the second time in the past three games on Wednesday at Yankee Stadium.After watching Bradley strike out three times on Tuesday to slip to 1-for-14 on the
NEW YORK -- Mired in one of the worst slumps of his career, Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. didn't start for the second time in the past three games on Wednesday at Yankee Stadium.
After watching Bradley strike out three times on Tuesday to slip to 1-for-14 on the road trip, Red Sox manager Alex Cora decided another day off would be best.
Bradley, who is 5-for-50 since April 21, was available off the bench.
With Bradley out, Cora was able to get Mitch Moreland's bat in the lineup at first base while moving Hanley Ramirez to designated hitter and J.D. Martinez to right field.
"It's just a matter of for me of what I see," said Cora. "What I would like [Bradley] to be is to become athletic in the batter's box. Sometimes we get caught up in mechanics and what we are working on before the game, and we go to the batter's box at 7:30 and you're thinking about your load and your hips and landing time, and you forget the most important thing."
Though Cora wasn't with the Red Sox in 2016, he knows all about Bradley's All-Star season, which included a 29-game hitting streak.
"Honestly, for me, he's not using his hands," said Cora. "When we talk about good hitters, they look hitterish. They start, you've got rhythm going. It seems like he doesn't have any rhythm. To get pitches in the strike zone at this level, 97, 98, you've got to get your hands going, and he's not doing that, I feel. Probably that's why he's missing them.
"I saw some video from two years ago, that's when he had that long hitting streak. There was a different stance. There were more -- he looked more hitterish. His hands were moving. So hopefully we can get him there, get him in a good spot and then after that everything can go from there."
The move to insert Moreland in the lineup paid off, as he crushed a two-run homer in the second inning.
Cora, a rookie manager, admits he is going through a learning curve of when it's best to sit a slumping player and when it might be better to show confidence by keeping the player in the lineup.
"I'm learning now," Cora said. "Obviously this is my first time doing this, but I do feel it gets to the point that you have to take a step back before you go forward. I'm not saying this is the time.
"It's very important that today for him, if he wants to go to the cage and take 500 swings, go ahead. If you want to go to the video and sit down and just watch video, that'll be great. Use the day for your advantage. Don't use it just to sit down at your locker and wonder what's going on. Take it to your advantage."
Wright's role TBD
The Red Sox aren't sure yet if Steven Wright will be in the rotation or bullpen when he's eligible to come off the suspended list on Monday. Some of that could depend on David Price's availability going forward.
The knuckleballer started for Triple-A Pawtucket on Tuesday, giving up one run over six innings.
"His next one will be coming out of the bullpen, either one or two innings. Then when he comes out we'll make a decision what we're going to do," said Cora.
Honorary bat girl from Marblehead
In recognition of Mother's Day, MLB announced the honorary batgirls for all 30 teams on Wednesday. The Red Sox selected Lindsay Northrop of Marblehead, Mass.
With the Sox on the road in Toronto on Sunday, the club will recognize her at a future home game.
For the first time since the Honorary Bat Girl program's start in 2009, clubs had the opportunity to hand-select their respective honorees, each of whom have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to battling breast cancer.
Northrop is a two-time survivor of breast cancer. She is married with two sons (ages 11 and 9) and the proud owner of two dogs.
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.