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04/01/08 10:26 PM ET
Bradley still aggressive despite knee
But manager Washington playing it safe with outfield time
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
SEATTLE -- Milton Bradley may not yet be ready for outfield duty, but he showed on Opening Day that he's not going to hold back just because he's not fully recovered from knee surgery. Bradley walked twice on Opening Day against the Mariners, including while leading off the sixth inning against reliever Sean Green. Bradley then tried to steal second. He was thrown out by catcher Kenji Johjima, but it was still a reflection of his aggressive nature. "That's Milton," manager Ron Washington said. "He felt he could get that base, but he found the power is not there yet in his legs. Another month or so it will be, but I'm not going to take his aggressiveness away. I just tell him to be smart. You can't control how he plays, that's just the way he plays. I just don't want him to put himself in jeopardy." Washington is taking the same approach as far as Bradley playing the outfield. He played out there at the end of Spring Training but won't in Seattle. Washington doesn't want to take a chance when the temperatures are dropping below 50 degrees. There's a better chance of Bradley getting out there in Anaheim this weekend. The forecast there calls for sunshine and clear skies with highs between 70-76 degrees and the lows around 52. "If it's nice down there, I may get him out there," Washington said. "If not, I may wait until we get home." Washington started Frank Catalanotto in left and David Murphy in right on Tuesday, with Marlon Byrd getting a night off. Washington said he's considering using Catalanotto and Byrd in the outfield on Wednesday. Catalanotto and Murphy were a combined 5-for-15 in their careers against Mariners starter Felix Hernandez going into Tuesday's game, while Byrd is 0-for-3. Washington said matchups and past history against opposing pitchers may dictate how he deploys his outfield on a given night.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.