Jack Zduriencik: Milton Bradley is ‘leading candidate’ to win Mariners LF job

Mar 10, 2011, 8:44 PM | Updated: Apr 4, 2011, 7:54 pm


MyNorthwest.com staff

Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik joined the Calabro show on Thursday and shared his impression of how several players have looked during spring training. Here is some of what Zduriencik had to say:

On OF Milton Bradley’s performance in camp so far: “He’s had a good camp. He’s come in and he’s been very energetic, he’s had a lot of energy that Milton has shown us. He started today in left field. I would say right now he’s the leading candidate to be the left fielder. Things change. A lot of things happen. We know that Milton’s had some injuries here so we want to monitor that. But he’s had a nice camp, and it’s been good, it’s been real good so far. He’s been upbeat, he’s been excited about being here and there’s an energy to Milton at this moment in time that we’re all real happy with.”

On Bradley’s recent off-the-field issues: “There (are) a lot of personal things that happens in an awful lot of players’ lives. Unfortunately, Milton’s has been written up quite a bit – it’s been in the headlines quite a bit. But you go throughout the sport world and, obviously, we would love for things to be settled differently. But those are personal issues that players go through. You know we don’t take any of this stuff lightly, trust me on this. We have had our sitdowns with many players over the course of time. We want them to be good citizens; we want our fans to embrace them. You know sometimes, you do have players that have certain issues that they have to get over. We’re gonna do the very best we can, be there to support in that and hope the best for their families and for their personal lives.”

LiddiOn 22-year-old third baseman Alex Liddi, who has grand slams in two consecutive games: “He signed a few years ago – he’s from Italy – and he’s done a nice job all through the system. Last year he had a really nice break-out year for us in Double-A. So he’s come in … he hit a home run in the “B” game the other day too, so he’s had three days in a row where he’s had home runs – of course two of them, yesterday and today, being grand slams. It’s fun to watch.

“He’s a young kid that we think is gonna be a part of the future. We’ve talked about that for a while and some of these kids have come in and have opened some eyes. They’re big, physical, strong kids and they’re doing some things here that has gotten people’s attention.”

On his evaluation of pitcher Erik Bedard: “Yeah, he’s been fun to watch. The first outing was quick – but I think it was nine pitches. The second outing was good. Today was a very tight strike zone and he threw a little more pitches than I think he would have normally had the strike zone been slightly more liberal. But he did a nice job, and everyone here has been excited. He feels really good about himself; he feels good about his physical state right now. He’s just inching towards stretching himself out every outing and we like what we’ve seen out of him.”

On where Bedard fits into the rotation: “Well it’d be a little tough to put him at the top of the rotation. Simply because I think, being out a year and a half like he has, we’re going to have to be careful on the innings that he is going to pitch. But we’ll take the quality innings and let the pieces fall where they may. Depending on how the rest of the staff shakes itself out: you’ve got Felix (Hernandez), you’ve (Jason) Vargas, you’ve got (Doug) Fister probably, for sure. Then you’ve got the situation for the three and four spot, I think is how it’ll play itself out.”

On third baseman Chone Figgins: “Again, a ton of energy. He’s been very solid at third base, he’s really swung the bat well, he’s hit several balls on a nose this year. I think the thing with Chone is that he’s got all that behind him, what happened last year in terms of him coming to the organization, switching positions, switching spots in the batting order, the first big contract, you know that’s all old news now. So Figgy can come in and be Figgy and he’s had a nice camp. Talking to the coaching staff, who hasn’t been around him a lot, they’re very, very happy with his leadership role, they’re happy with how he goes about his business everyday. It’s been good. I think he’s very relaxed, he’s excited about the year, he wants to be here, he wants to prove to the fans that he’s worth the investment that we put in him, and that he wants to win in Seattle.”

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