Lou Piniella Takes a Hands-On Approach with Milton Bradley's Hitting Woes

Francisco E. VelazquezCorrespondent IJuly 20, 2009

CHICAGO - JULY 8:  Milton Bradley #21 of the Chicago Cubs bats against the Atlanta Braves during the game on July 8, 2009 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

If you want something done, sometimes you gotta do it yourself.

Forget Von Joshua. For now, Piniella has decided to take a more hands-on approach with Milton Bradley as his personal hitting coach. Piniella says he plans on working with Bradley on Monday as they prep for a three-game series with NL-East leading Philadelphia.

"I had a nice talk with Bradley [Sunday]," Piniella said. "I'm going to work with him personally for a while and see if we can get him going."

However, Piniella also said that Bradley may not be in the lineup on Monday or Tuesday to get Bradley some more time to watch film and work on simplifying his approach at the plate. Bradley had Sunday off in the series finale at Washington after he struck out three times on Saturday.

"If you don't see him in the lineup for a couple days, it's just to get work in, and when he's ready, we'll get him out there," Piniella said.

Bradley is hitting .167 on the Cubs’ current road trip and .239 overall this season—a contrast to his career-best .321 of last year.

"We're going to get him a little shorter path to the ball, increase a little bat speed. And we can do that with a couple of adjustments, I feel. We'll start [today]. And when he's ready, we'll get him out there."

While Bradley takes a seat, Jake Fox is the logical candidate to start in right field. Hitting .326 with almost a third less at-bats than Bradley, Fox is forcing fans to want Piniella to play him more. Monday will be a start.

Still, both Piniella and Bradley have been adamant that they are confident Bradley is getting his mechanics corrected and that Bradley will have a better second-half. Perhaps this move ensures Piniella that he’s putting his money where his mouth is.


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