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.

Sandy Leon homered twice in one inning, including a grand slam

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Red Sox catcher Sandy Leon achieved a rare feat during Monday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition against the Orioles: he homered twice in one inning. One of those homers happened to be a grand slam.

Leon led off the top of the fifth inning with a solo home run off of Logan Verrett. Verrett continued to get knocked around, giving up three singles and a walk before being relieved by Brian Moran. Moran gave up a walk to load the bases, then a single to knock in a run and keep the bases loaded. Leon stepped back to the plate and swatted a grand slam to left field, making it an eight-run fifth for the Red Sox. The Sox would tack on one more before the inning was mercifully ended.

How often do players homer twice in one inning during the regular season? Not that often. Since 2010, the feat has been accomplished four times in the American League and twice in the National League. The Orioles’ Mark Trumbo was the only one to do it last year.

As for Leon, he’s on track to open the season as the starting catcher in Boston, Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald reported last week.

Phillies release veteran catchers Ryan Hanigan and Bryan Holaday

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The Phillies announced on Monday that the club released veteran catchers Ryan Hanigan and Bryan Holaday. Both were competing for the back-up catcher spot on the team’s 25-man roster. With both out of the picture, that means Andrew Knapp has won that honor.

Knapp, 25, hit a combined .266/.330/.390 with eight home runs and 46 RBI in 443 plate appearances last year at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He did not have a great spring but has hit well as of late, which likely pushed him ahead of Hanigan and Holaday. Knapp will serve as the understudy to starting catcher Cameron Rupp.