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August 17, 2010 at 3:01 PM

Milton Bradley pretty much done for year after surgery to repair meniscus tear

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Breaking news: the Mariners just re-signed infielder Tug Hulett to a minor league deal. Now, the symmetry with 2008 is complete.
Milton Bradley had his knee surgery today. A torn lateral meniscus was found and repaired. Bradley will be out four-to-six weeks, all-but-ending his 2010 season.
Am I surprised about this? Not really. This sounds a lot like the team telling Bradley: “You’re barely going to play anyway because we have to look at Saunders and have Branyan at DH. You might as well get that wear and tear in your knee looked after.”
Now look, a torn meniscus is painful. But it is something you can play on. I’ve had that same surgical procedure done many times in both knees, including two years ago after walking around with a torn meniscus — and running on a treadmill regularly with it (dumb) — for the entire 2008 season. If this team was in a playoff hunt, Bradley probably could have played. I say probably because there are always degrees involved with every injury and no two people handle pain the same way.
But for those of you wondering whether Bradley will rehab for a month, then play the final two weeks, I’d say no. And the stuff above is me spelling out for you exactly why I think that. Feel free to disagree. But there’s no room in the starting nine for Bradley these days as the team looks to figure out which youngsters will be invited back in 2011. Might as well take care of the usual knee problems that can crop up often for pro athletes. This appears to be a good excuse to get him out of the way.
“That’s what it looks like,” manager Daren Brown said when asked whether Bradley is indeed done. “Doing the math, that’s right close to it. If it’s on the four-week side, we’ll see. But I would say it looks like that (his season being over) right now.”
If that wasn’t enough of a hint, Brown was then asked whether it would be important for Bradley to try to play again this year.
“I would like to think it would be, but at the same time, when you’re doing something like that this late in the year the health is more important,” Brown said. “So, if it takes a little bit more time, that’s fine too to have him healthy.”

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Moving right along, Saunders is actually sitting out tonight because his shoulder is a bit sore. He tweaked it in his last at-bat, but isn’t feeling anything when he throws.
He hurt the shoulder two weeks ago colliding with the wall. For now, he’ll be used on an emergency basis, but Brown says it’s nothing serious. Ryan Langerhans starts in left field tonight.
That humidity did a number on all the players last night. Adam Moore was talking today about how he actually dropped 12 pounds — not the original four he told us about last night — during the game, going from 227 to 215. He’d put more than half of it back on by today.
Wow, if he could find a way to market that…
I spoke with David Aardsma and asked him whether the humidity played a role in his outing last night. Aardsma was reluctant to use it as an excuse, even though he did say it messed up his split-fingered fastball.
“Usually, when I miss with it, I bury it in the dirt,” he said. “This time, the ball kept going up and that never happens. If you watch the replay, you’ll see the catcher keeps having to stick his glove up to catch the ball because it’s sailing high.”
That said, Aardsma was upset with himself for not better dealing with the situation.
“Was it giving me problems? Yes,” he said of the humidity. “Is that a good reason for walking a guy on four pitches with the bases loaded? No way.”
Aardsma said he was having command issues with his fastball in any event, even before the humidity was factored in. Command sometimes comes and goes and this time, he just didn’t have it and was simply hurling the ball towards the zone in an effort to notch some strikes.
I asked manager Brown, a former pro pitcher, how guys cope when humidity starts impacting their pitches.
“Whatever you can do, whether it’s the resin, or dirt, there are a lot of ways you can go about it,” Brown said. “But it’s hard to control sweating. It’s going to happen. I think some of it, coming from the Pacific Northwest, you don’t have this kind of humidity…but you’ve got to figure something out.”
Brown understood the difficulties Aardsma would have had throwing the splitter: “To use an analogy, it ends up being kind of like spitting a watermelon seed. That’s what it kind of comes out like. You don’t feel like you ave any control over it.”
Aardsma is not available tonight. Brown felt he had to battle just to get out of the one inning last night and would rather have him rest up and go with Brandon League as closer tonight.



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