BALTIMORE -- Largely due to his solid defense in center field, Jackie Bradley Jr. has rarely been absent from Red Sox manager John Farrell's starting lineup. But with the rookie struggling mightily at the plate, he got a rest on Monday, with Grady Sizemore getting the start in center.
Camden Yards has a fairly shallow center field, making this the ideal venue for Bradley to get some down time.
"One, we wanted to keep Grady in the mix," said Farrell. "And I think Jackie needs a little bit of a breather. We get into this ballpark where it's not as much ground to cover, feel like we were able to do that with [Brock] Holt, Sizemore and [Daniel] Nava adequately."
Bradley was hitting .203 with one homer, 21 RBIs and a .286 on base percentage in 187 at-bats entering Monday.
Over his last 47 at-bats dating back to May 25, Bradley had 19 strikeouts.
"Jackie's had some challenges of late," Farrell said. "He's been working on some things in early BP with a little bit of a different setup where his hand placement is. Yet the strikeouts are probably more than he's ever experienced and maybe more than we've projected, so it's just a chance to take a little bit of a breather."
Will Bradley be back in the lineup Tuesday?
"Undetermined right now," said Farrell. "In BP, he's tried to create and produce a little bit more of a consistent swing path and yet I think there might be a tendency when he's facing guys with above average velocity, it's not uncommon, not just for Jackie, but it's not uncommon for hitters to try to combat that velocity with added effort and that can create a little length in the swing at times."
Given Bradley's youth and upside, Farrell has to weigh all that in with his performance.
"He's a talented player," said Farrell. "He's had an impact on a number of games he's played for us. He's one of the better defending center fielders in the game. And yet we've got some offensive things that he's aware of, that we're aware of, that we're working to gain some consistency."
Drew out with right oblique discomfort
BALTIMORE -- Perhaps due in part to not having Spring Training, Red Sox shortstop Stephen Drew was unavailable to start Monday's game against the Orioles due to some discomfort in his right oblique.
"He's feeling some soreness and tightness in the right oblique. He felt it in the last at-bat [Sunday] night when he grounded out to shortstop," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "Believe me, we'd love to have him in there because of the success against [Bud] Norris. It's precautionary, but we've got to hold him out right now."
Obviously Drew's situation is unique, given that he was a free agent until May 19.
"You don't have the time to build a physical foundation as you would in Spring Training," said Farrell. "We have to be mindful of when some of these things that might come up in Spring Training, when you give him a couple of days to just get over it … that's not the case here."
Jonathan Herrera started at short in Drew's place.
Is it possible the Red Sox could have extended Drew's stint in the Minors to longer than the minimum of 10 days that was required once the club optioned him?
"Well, I think there are probably a number of things that go into negotiations," Farrell said. "I'm certainly not privy to those. But we felt like we needed depth to the left side of the infield, particularly with [Will Middlebrooks'] injury at the time. The move was made accordingly."
In his first four games since rejoining the Red Sox, Drew is 1-for-14.
Buchholz will start for Pawtucket on Friday
BALTIMORE -- Fresh off pitching a simulated game in Detroit on Sunday, Clay Buchholz has been slotted for a Minor League rehab start Friday at Triple-A Pawtucket.
"He's going to start in Pawtucket on Friday, and we're hopeful and planning to get five innings out of him on Friday," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "He'll throw his bullpen [session] here with us before meeting up in Pawtucket."
Buchholz had a lot going before going on the disabled list, making several mechanical adjustments in an attempt to break out of one of the worst slumps of his career.
Farrell was noncommittal when asked if Buchholz's rehab assignment will be more than one start. The righty is on the disabled list due to a hyperextended left knee.
"Yeah, we'll see how we get through Friday," Farrell said. "But it's not like he's coming off an arm ailment or anything with the throwing, the arm action. We feel like we can go from a three-inning sim game to five innings of work. We'll see where he's at after Friday."
• First baseman Mike Carp still has a ways to go in his return from a stress fracture in his right foot.
"He has just begun some range-of-motion work," said Farrell. "He's been in a boot for a week, so today is the first day he comes out of that. He's still, best guesstimate, a couple of weeks of rehab [before] getting into some light baseball activity."
• Third baseman Middlebrooks is feeling better each day as he works back from a fractured right index finger.
"Will feels like the range of motion is continuing," said Farrell. "We put a bat in his hand a little bit [Sunday]. He still feels a little discomfort when he's throwing a baseball, and that's because of the bending back, the hyperextending of the finger."
• The Red Sox continue to go conservatively with right fielder Shane Victorino, who is on the disabled list for the second time this season with a right hamstring strain.
"Vic continues to gradually increase the ground-base work -- that's running, that's agility work, all the things he's going to have to accomplish before we get him out [on a rehab assignment]," said Farrell.