Mariners GM says Milton Bradley “is going to come in and compete for a starting position”

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Last week Milton Bradley was arrested and charged with a felony after allegedly threatening a woman, which is the latest in a long line of on- and off-field “incidents” involving the troubled outfielder who’s played for eight teams in 11 years.

At the time there was speculation the Mariners might simply get rid of Bradley, which given his sizable contract and awful 2010 performance would likely mean an outright release, but today general manager Jack Zduriencik suggested that won’t be the case.

Here are some of Zduriencik’s comments, first in a radio interview with Dave Mahler and then in a follow-up chat with Larry Stone of the Seattle Times:

Obviously, there’s a legal process that Milton has to go through. As of right now, he’s a part of the organization, and we’re planning on him coming into spring training and competing for a job. He’s a member of the organization, he’s signed. Our stand right now is that he’s going to come in and compete for a starting position. I think he competes for those two positions [left field and designated hitter], probably more toward left field. Because he’s a switch-hitter, when he’s healthy, there’s a degree of versatility.

In other words, if Bradley’s legal status doesn’t keep him from playing the Mariners will keep him on the roster. They’d surely love to simply void his contract, but as Craig wrote last week that’s highly unlikely. He has a court date scheduled for February 8.

Royals closer Kelvin Herrera leaves with forearm tightness

Associated Press
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The Royals are a game and a half out of the crazy AL Wild Card race — six games back of the Indians in the division — so they don’t have a huge margin for error. They got some bad news last night, though, that could have a major impact on their playoff hopes: closer Kelvin Herrera experienced tightness in his right forearm in the ninth inning of last night’s win, forcing him out of the game.

Herrera walked the bases loaded, then went to a 2-0 count on the next batter before leaving the game. That last pitch was a fastball that clocked in at 91 m.p.h., which is NOT a typical Kelvin Herrera fastball.  Herrera didn’t talk after the game but his teammate Sal Perez said that Herrera told him  “I’m tight. I don’t feel my forearm.”

Reporters left the clubhouse before an official diagnosis or prognosis could be delivered, so expect an update some time today. If Herrera is out the closer duties could fall to Scott Alexander or Brandon Maurer.

Albert Pujols sets the all-time record for home runs by a foreign-born player

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Albert Pujols had a big night last night, driving in four runs as the Angels beat the Rangers 10-1. Three of those runs came on a three-run homer. That was the 610th home run of Pujols’ career, snapping a tie for eighth on the all-time list with Sammy Sosa. It also made him baseball’s all-time leader for home runs by a player born outside the U.S.

Pujols was aware of the accomplishment, of course, and noted how honored he was after the game:

”It’s pretty special. Obviously, all the great players from the Dominican Republic, Latin America, Venezuela, Mexico, Colombia, they’ve gone through the big leagues and to be able to accomplish something like this is very humbling.”

After Sosa, who is from the Dominican Republic, comes Rafael Palmeiro (569); Manny Ramirez (555); David Ortiz (541); Carlos Delgado (473); Jose Canseco (462); Adrian Beltre and Miguel Cabrera (459).