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Jackie Bradley Jr. on MFB: Open stance ‘just something I was always accustomed to’

07.08.14 at 2:27 pm ET
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Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. joined Middays with MFB to talk about his recent string of success both on the field and at the plate. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

After a difficult first few months in the batter’s box, Bradley is hitting .304 with a .360 on-base percentage in his last 14 games. He said the improvements are a result of him opening his stance at the plate.

“For me it’s just comfortable,” Bradley said. “It’s just something I was always accustomed to. That initial switch, I guess, was because I struggled at first. It was more for direction, just get square with the ball, eventually stay on the ball a little longer.

“Besides that, I just wanted to get back to comfort and just doing it the way I knew how to.”

Bradley said at one point in the season he felt lost when it came to his issues at the plate. Since then, things have clearly turned around for him.

“I guess I wasn’t necessarily lost with the whole playing ball, it was more lost as in not getting the results that I wanted to,” he said. “That’s not the results the team wanted me to get, so it was making the adjustment, continuously working at it and basically just grinding through, putting together some quality at-bats and things start to fall.”

Fellow rookie Xander Bogaerts has had his share of difficulties at the plate as well. Bradley said it’s something a player just has to figure out on his own to get his swing back.

“Sometimes you’ve got to just figure it out yourself, not really much talking to do,” he said. “It’s all about finally getting those results and things will straighten themselves out.”

Bradley certainly hasn’t had much consistency at the plate this season, but his play in center field has made him a regular in the lineup. He was especially impressive on Sunday when he made his 10th assist of the season on a throw to the plate and made a leaping catch in the ninth inning that potentially saved a run.

“It’s a gift and also working at it,” he said. “I started at a young age, probably around eighth grade, trying to work on, not looking at the ball, but when I see it off the bat kind of gauge where it might land.”

Bradley added: “Stuff like that, I think, has helped, but I think it’s more the fun of it for me. I enjoy the challenge of trying to make a great catch.”

While Bradley’s struggles appear to be over, the Red Sox‘ losing ways have continued. The Sox have lost 12 of their last 17 games to fall to last place in the American League East.

“As a whole, it’s definitely frustrating,” he said. “We’re not where we want to be results-wise. We feel like we’ve been putting in the work, so the results just really haven’t shown. We haven’t been able to get a big hit in the big situations. When we do, it’s pretty much right at somebody or something.

“That’s one of those things where the game is very streaky, so we’re just hoping we get on the right streak coming soon.”

The Red Sox have been surrounded by discussions regarding pitcher Jon Lester‘s contract situation and multiple instances when David Ortiz has made controversial comments that have caused a media frenzy. When asked if he’s seen these issues become a distraction in the clubhouse, Bradley said, “Nope. Not me.”

“I’m just in my corner, see if I’m in the lineup. If not, try to ball,” he said.

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