After short stint on DL, Bradley ready to return

He made his debut with the Padres on Saturday against the Braves.

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Milton Bradley was discussing his pending debut with the San Diego Padres when fellow outfielder Mike Cameron walked into the clubhouse and hollered, “M.B. in the building!”

The Padres are hoping for a spark from Bradley, who was activated Saturday from his fourth trip to the disabled list this season.

Bradley started in left field and batted fifth Saturday afternoon against the Atlanta Braves.

“I just want to get acclimated and become part of this team and get out there and play,” Bradley said. “Guys have been asking when I’m going to get out there. I just get out there and do something.”

Bradley, known as much for his volatile behavior as his baseball skills, was obtained June 29 from Oakland, along with cash, in exchange for minor league pitcher Andrew Brown. He joined the Padres two days later in Los Angeles, but was placed on the 15-day disabled list because of a strained left oblique. The move was retroactive to June 21, the day the A’s cut ties with him by designating him for assignment.

Monitored progress

The Padres monitored the switch-hitter’s progress in batting practice through the week. Bradley had no problems batting right-handed, but was a little tentative batting left-handed.

“As the week wore on, the discomfort lessened to the point where he felt as though he was ready to play,” manager Bud Black said. “In these situations where really the player truly knows how he feels, I told Milton to be as honest with me as possible and he goes, ‘I will be.’ Last night after batting practice we spoke in my office and he said, ‘I’m ready. Let’s go.”’

Limited to 65 at-bats this season with the A’s, Bradley was hitting .292 with two homers and seven RBIs going into Saturday.

“He’s shown in his career that he’s an offensive force,” Black said. “He has power, he has speed. I think he does have an intensity through his at-bats that I think is going to help our club. He’s a guy that has hit in the middle of the order and he’s going to hit in the middle of our order, and we think that he’s going to be productive.”

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