SEATTLE - Milton Bradley was placed on the restricted list by the Seattle Mariners on Thursday, a day after asking the team for help in dealing with “emotional stress” from personal issues.
Seattle recalled outfielder Michael Saunders from Triple-A Tacoma to fill Bradley’s roster spot.
While on the restricted list, Bradley cannot be in uniform or with the team. He will miss at least five days — and manager Don Wakamatsu said he won’t go on the Mariners’ eight-game road trip that begins next Tuesday in Baltimore.
But general manager Jack Zduriencik said the team opted for the restricted list instead of placing Bradley on the 15-day disabled list. Zduriencik said it’s expected Bradley will be away from the club for “five, six, seven days for sure,” and then the situation will be re-evaluated.
“The process has started. We’re together with Milton and his agency group and we’re forming a partnership to help him get through this thing,” Zduriencik said. “The timeframe has yet to be determined. I don’t know the answer to this because I’m not a professional in this field.”
The moves came a day after Bradley met with Wakamatsu and Zduriencik and asked for help in dealing with his issues. The 32-year-old arrived at Safeco Field on Wednesday morning and told the leaders of his eighth team in 10 seasons, “I need your help.”
That startling admission came after Bradley became angry for striking out twice on Tuesday night and Wakamatsu removed him from a close game in the sixth inning because the manager thought he wasn’t fit to play anymore. Bradley left the stadium soon after. Several Mariners players described his mindset Tuesday night as “not good.”
Wakamatsu said before Thursday night’s game that Bradley met with a counselor earlier in the afternoon and all reports indicated the session went well.
The 32-year-old Bradley publicly blamed Chicago’s fans and media for running him out of that city following his failed season with the Cubs in 2009. He already had run-ins this season, flipping off a fan during a game in Texas in the midst of a 1-for-21 start.
Rangers manager Ron Washington said before Thursday’s game in Texas that he was happy to see Bradley getting help. Washington coached Bradley in 2008 with Texas, where Bradley set career highs of 22 homers and 77 RBIs.
“Milton is a very good ballplayer. As a baseball player and now as a manager, you just like to see good ballplayers do good. And I feel no different about Milton, I want to see him do good,” Washington said. “It’s nice that Seattle’s got his back.”
Bradley has repeatedly said that he feels enormous pressure to produce for the Mariners and that he is enjoying the atmosphere and his teammates in Seattle.
Bradley is batting .214 with two home runs and 12 RBIs in 21 games. He was in street clothes in the clubhouse on Thursday before the moves were made, speaking briefly with Ken Griffey Jr. and sitting quietly at his locker.
“We’re just happy we’re going down this road right now and getting him some help,” Wakamatsu said.
Zduriencik said he was in contact with Major League Baseball on how best to handle Bradley’s situation, finally determining the restricted list was the best move.
“I do not know the length of time this will take. Certainly we hope it’s sooner than later,” Zduriencik said. “I hope that we’re not involved in this thing for a lengthy, lengthy period of time. I don’t think that will be the case. I think we’ll see some headway in a period of time and we’ll move forward with it.”
Saunders slumped at the start of the season at Tacoma, but rebounded with seven hits in his last four games to raise his average to .200. He hit .221 in 46 games with the Mariners last season.
Wakamatsu also said shortstop Jack Wilson was only available in an emergency Thursday night after injuring his right knee running out a bunt single on Wednesday night. Wakamatsu said Wilson is day to day.
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