Perry glad to have Bradley back
Together in 2006, hitting coach knows what new Cub can do
CHICAGO -- Ever since he heard about the possibility of Milton Bradley signing with the Cubs, hitting coach Gerald Perry has been thinking about possible lineup options.
Cubs manager Lou Piniella has the ultimate say, but Perry, who was Bradley's hitting coach in Oakland in 2006, has some ideas.
"Milton can hit anywhere from first to sixth," Perry said Thursday. "When we took off in Oakland, we put him third. He did a heck of a job there. You could sandwich a left-hand bat between [Derrek] Lee and [Aramis] Ramirez, or hit [Bradley] fifth behind Ramirez. He's going to take his walks, he's going to battle pitchers. He'll give you quality at-bats."
Bradley hit .290 in the No. 3 hole for the Athletics in 2006. Sounds exactly like the type of hitter the Cubs want.
"He's definitely the guy that I'd like to have come here ever since I've been here," Perry said.
Bradley signed a three-year contract with the Cubs on Thursday, and the switch-hitting outfielder will break up the overload of right-handers in Lee, Ramirez and Geovany Soto. Throw a left-handed bat in the mix -- and possibly two with the addition of switch-hitter Aaron Miles in the No. 2 hole -- and pitchers will have to think a little more when they face the Cubs.
"Any right-handed pitcher on any particular day can get into a groove working one side of the plate and not having to make changes," Perry said. "Some days, a guy may not have to change a thing if he is facing everybody from the same side. If you switch it around some, and not just throwing anybody but throwing quality hitters in there, that makes a big difference.
"Milton definitely has an idea at the plate. He's a good situational hitter. He's a good ballplayer. Keep him on the field as much as possible and we'll definitely benefit from having him."
Bradley led the American League in on-base percentage last season with the Texas Rangers, and batted .321 with 22 home runs. He primarily hit fourth for the Rangers.
"He's an awesome teammate," Perry said. "The guys in the clubhouse, they all loved him. What I noticed more with Milton when I was there is that he's a perfectionist. The times when he would get upset -- it seems like the camera stayed on him -- but he'd get upset with himself over not doing what he thought he was capable of doing. He's a good teammate."
The Cubs aren't just getting a switch-hitter with a high on-base percentage, but also a good outfielder, Perry said.
"There's nothing he can't do on the field," Perry said of Bradley, who played 20 games in the outfield last season. "He's a really good defensive player -- nobody talks about that. He's got a real good arm.
"Watch him go about his business, day in and day out, as far as shagging balls in the outfield. You don't see that type of work ethic day in and day out, especially for an outfielder. He goes at it pretty good and gets his work in. He wants to be the best he can possibly be."
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.