Commentary

BP Daily: Cubs' Bradley at risk in right?

By moving from DH to RF, the fragile Milton Bradley is in uncharted waters

Originally Published: April 23, 2009
By Christina Kahrl | Baseball Prospectus

When the Cubs signed Milton Bradley, there were all sorts of reactions -- enthusiasm for what the switch-hitting slugger might provide in terms of lineup balance, but also concern over whether his particular brand of charm would play well before the well-suds'd legions in the stands. While we're already getting treated to both sides of the "mercurial" Milton, rational observers wondered whether a player with his spotty track record for staying healthy could repeat his brilliant comeback campaign DHing for the Rangers in 2008. His salary with the Cubs suggests they believe he could, but they'll need him to rise to the challenge of playing right field regularly in the DH-less National League.

Since its inception, DH has been something of a professional end point. Setting aside the extreme defensive indifference of someone like Dave Kingman, it's where players go toward the end of their careers, usually because of one kind of incapacity or another. Say, the knees of Harold Baines or Andre Dawson, or the bum wings of a Don Baylor or a Hal McRae, or acquired reps for all-around fragility that pushed Paul Molitor or Edgar Martinez toward one-dimensional greatness.

[+] EnlargeMilton Bradley
AP Photo/Morry GashWith the Cubs, Milton Bradley won't enjoy extra rest on the bench as a DH.

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