On Wednesday, we reported that multiple league sources claimed Jackie Bradley Jr. was not just demoted for his performance, but also for "stubbornness" in regards to changing his swing.
According to two league sources, there was a growing sense of frustration within the Red Sox clubhouse -- both coaches and players -- with Bradley due to his perceived "stubbornness with the coaching staff." One source added that Bradley was unwilling to work with coaches to fix his swing. Both sources said Bradley's attitude was one of the main reasons he was sent to the minors.
It's ultimately Ben Cherington's decision to demote a player or not, though, and according to the Red Sox general manager himself -- by way of the Providence Journal's Tim Britton -- Bradley was "absolutely not" demoted for any such issues. It was strictly a performance problem for Cherington, who went on at length explaining his position while defending Bradley's work ethic.
Bradley did the same on Wednesday, taking to Twitter to say the "truth will reveal itself" in regards to his work ethic and character. It does merit mention, though, that, according to Britton, there are members of the Red Sox organization who wonder if Bradley "grasped the urgency of the situation" with regards to his need to change and improve a swing that clearly needed the help. Others, though, felt the criticism that has come since is "unfair".
So, in short, Bradley might very well have been a little stubborn, but maybe not to the eyebrow-raising degree that we've seen, not to the degree that Cherington felt it was a factor over a dismal, year-long performance at the plate. That's good news for Bradley, and for the Red Sox, as there is definitely talent there, especially defensively. Bradley clearly needs to make some changes and progress if he's to be of any consistent use at the plate at the major-league level, however, and that's why he's back in Triple-A to figure out. Even with Mookie Betts and Rusney Castillo around, there is room in the Red Sox organization for someone with Bradley's abilities. He just needs to learn to utilize them.