ARLINGTON -- Milton Bradley was out of Wednesday's starting lineup with a sore left wrist, which has become the norm. However, Rangers manager Ron Washington is optimistic Bradley will be back in the cleanup spot in the Texas order on Friday. "He's frustrated," Washington said of Bradley. "He's using tubing, he's using putty and doing everything he can to keep his arm moving." Bradley, who's missed six of 14 games in September entering Wednesday, has made just one appearance in the Rangers' series with the Tigers, and it was as a pinch-hitter. That came on Monday, which was the same day he received a cortisone shot in his wrist.
Washington said Bradley's wrist is less troublesome when the switch-hitter bats from the left side of the plate, so the manager was hopeful Bradley could play Tuesday against a right-handed pitcher. However, the pain from his cortisone shot the day before was too great, and Bradley still didn't feel well enough to start on Wednesday against Freddy Garcia. Jon Garland is slated to pitch for the Angels on Friday. "I can't put him out there if he can't perform," Washington said. One reason Washington is so anxious to get Bradley back in the lineup is that Bradley needs 28 more plate appearances to reach 502 for the season, which will qualify him on the American League offensive leaderboards. With a .324 average and .442 on-base percentage entering Wednesday, Bradley is in contention for the AL batting and on-base titles. Bradley is second in the league in batting behind Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who was hitting .327 entering Wednesday. Bradley's on-base percentage leads the league and is 31 points higher than that of Twins catcher Joe Mauer, who is second. With only nine games remaining in the season after Wednesday night, Bradley will have to find a way to stay healthy for roughly seven of those to get his 28 plate appearances, assuming he can get four plate appearances per game. Washington didn't seem too troubled by this predicament. "I've got two games to play with," he said.
Shawn Shroyer is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.