Piniella pleased with Bradley's session
Cubs manager works one-on-one with struggling outfielder
PHILADELPHIA -- The biggest thing Milton Bradley needs to do is relax, Lou Piniella says.
Piniella and Bradley had a private session in the batting cage before Monday's Cubs game in Philadelphia. When asked how it went, Bradley said: "It went. That's all I care to elaborate."
Any timetable for the tutoring "is between us," Bradley said.
"We're going to work like I've been working all year," Bradley said.
Piniella elaborated a little more.
"It went well," Piniella said. "He was receptive to it and we didn't make many radical changes at all. We talked about some things that felt comfortable. [Tuesday], we'll work some more and film it. Get him in the lineup Wednesday, and get him back in the lineup when we go home. We'll give him a few days to get comfortable with the things we talked about."
The two talked about hitting in June when the Cubs were in Houston, but that was different. Piniella said they only looked at film then. This is more hands on.
"This is a little different approach -- a lot different actually," Piniella said. "These are things that will feel good to him, I think, and get him productive the way he should be."
Bradley was batting .239 overall, and is hitting .333 from the right side and .201 from the left.
"He's gotten himself into bad habits that he needs to clean up a little bit and that's the most important thing," Piniella said. "He needs to relax and not fight it."
The Cubs signed Bradley because they wanted another left-handed bat in the lineup. He began this season a career .271 hitter against right-handed pitchers, including a .312 average last year. Bradley said the only time he hits right-handed against a right-hander is if he's facing a right-handed knuckleballer. Being a switch-hitter is complicated.
"Basically, when you're a switch-hitter, the ball is always coming in to you, especially the breaking pitches," Piniella said. "I don't know how productive he'd be hitting right-handed. We're not even contemplating [having him abandon hitting from the left]. [General manager] Jim Hendry would wonder what we're doing here."
Piniella sees plenty of positives. Bradley did bat .321 last season for the Rangers. He's a pro.
"I'm confident that this young man will start hitting the ball the way he has," Piniella said. "Hitting a baseball is ability, and he's got ability. It's good eyesight, and he knows the strike zone well. It's also good hitting mechanics, and you have to get yourself in good position to swing the bat, and those are the things we're talking about and adding the relaxation mode to it more than anything else. No tension."
How do you do that?
"There's ways," Piniella said.
That will remain between him and Bradley.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.