Bradley held out another day
Rangers hopeful outfielder will return to action soon
ARLINGTON -- For the second straight day, Milton Bradley was out of the Rangers lineup.Two days after suffering a mild strain in his left quadriceps, Bradley still is being hampered by the injury. Wet field conditions from rain in the Arlington area Thursday morning didn't help matters. "He's not ready yet," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "I still want to give him more time. And the field is wet, so I don't want him to slip on that."
However, even without the wet field conditions, Washington said Bradley wouldn't have started. The skipper didn't talk to Bradley about his leg, but Washington did talk to team trainers, and they advised him Bradley wasn't ready to play yet.Washington is hopeful Bradley's leg will be healthy enough to allow him to play Friday when the Rangers visit the Nationals. Playing in a National League ballpark, Texas won't be able to play Bradley at designated hitter. "We feel like the strain is better, but not enough," Washington said. "We want him to play in Washington, and he has to play in the outfield, so I'd rather give him an extra day." Bradley suffered the injury in the bottom of the third inning of Tuesday's series opener with the Braves. He had singled to right field and strained his quad on his way to first base. Bradley tested the leg and tried to stay in the game, but he quickly was replaced by Brandon Boggs. With Bradley out of the lineup on Thursday, Boggs filled in at designated hitter and Josh Hamilton was slotted in Bradley's usual cleanup spot. Michael Young was in the third spot in the order again, while Frank Catalanotto hit second behind Ian Kinsler. In other news, Washington said reliever Joaquin Benoit will throw a 10- to 15-pitch side session on Thursday. If all goes well, Washington thinks Benoit should be available for Friday's series opener in D.C. During the Rangers' road trip to the nation's capital, about 15 players will visit the Walter Reed Army Medical Center on Friday. On Saturday, the entire team will be welcomed by President George W. Bush to the White House. Washington is looking forward to both occasions. "Hopefully it will boost the morale of those soldiers who have been injured, bring some joy to them," Washington said. "The President has a lot to take care of, and he's still going to give us an hour and 15 minutes to visit the White House, so I appreciate that." Hank Blalock, who is recovering from surgery on his right wrist to alleviate carpal tunnel syndrome, will head to Oklahoma City this weekend. The plan is for him to play with Triple-A Oklahoma on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. In addition to rehabbing his injured wrist, Blalock is converting from third base to first base. "He's an athlete," Washington said. "We know that the adjustments he has to make he'll be able to make. He's been through everything. Now it's just a matter of getting game time under him. Then there'll be no doubts."
Shawn Shroyer is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.