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DODGER REPORT

No Answer for Bradley's Condition

June 18, 2005|Bill Shaikin | Times Staff Writer

CHICAGO — Milton Bradley's condition has not improved since he last played 20 days ago, so the Dodgers are sending the switch-hitting outfielder home for another round of tests on his injured finger.

Bradley, diagnosed with a torn ligament in his right ring finger, still cannot swing a bat from the left side without discomfort. The Dodgers have no idea when he might play again, and they want to check whether there might be another, undiagnosed problem. Bradley declined to comment Friday, but Manager Jim Tracy said the Dodgers want to know "why there is little to no improvement whatsoever."

Dr. Norman Zemel, a hand specialist, will examine Bradley on Monday in Los Angeles and could order a new MRI and/or CT scan, Tracy said.

"Maybe it will show something they haven't seen to this point," Tracy said.

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Shortstop Cesar Izturis (hamstring) could return Monday, Tracy said, but pitcher Wilson Alvarez (shoulder), outfielder Ricky Ledee (hamstring), infielder Jose Valentin (knee) and catcher Paul Bako (knee) appear weeks away from returning. Bako, whose sprained knee did not respond well after he caught a bullpen session on Tuesday, will fly to Los Angeles for examination next week to check for a more serious injury. Pitcher Odalis Perez will make at least two more minor league rehabilitation starts, the first on Monday.

Rookie Derek Thompson could go onto the disabled list -- his left elbow has been sore in recent days -- or back to the minor leagues. The Dodgers promoted him from double-A Jacksonville to make three starts, the last on June 7, but he hasn't been used since.

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To load Friday's lineup with right-handers, Tracy moved Jason Phillips from catcher to first base and used Mike Rose at catcher and Olmedo Saenz at designated hitter, despite a bruised foot. Saenz, a reserve throughout his career, already has more at-bats this year than all of last year.

"There's a little bit of a wearing-down process," Tracy said. "You're hopeful you can get to a point where you can back off of him a little bit."

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The Dodgers paid $25,000 to reclaim left-hander Matt Merricks from the Colorado Rockies. Merricks, a 22-year-old left-hander, was claimed by the Rockies for $50,000 in last winter's Rule 5 draft, but he did not pitch for the Rockies because of a sore shoulder.... The Dodgers and White Sox will wear 1959 replica jerseys tonight to commemorate the last meeting between the teams in Chicago. The Dodgers beat the White Sox in the 1959 World Series.

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