Pitcher ready to face Yankees on Monday

Originally Published: August 14, 2003
ESPN.com news services

Kansas City Royals: There's some good news and some bad news for the Royals as they continue to battle for the AL Central crown.

Right-hander Jose Lima threw 65 pitches in 12 minutes and expects he will be ready Monday to face the Yankees in the Bronx, the Kansas City Star reported.

"Today was better than wonderful," Lima said. "I increased my stride another foot. I know it's going to be different going to the mound at Yankee Stadium."

While Lima looks set to return, center fielder Carlos Beltran was frustrated Friday after gingerly throwing long toss and a couple of short throws, the Star reported Saturday. Beltran still felt too much stiffness to return to the starting lineup Friday night.

"I can swing the bat from both sides," Beltran said. "The problem is I can't throw the ball without feeling a little pinch. It's getting better. I'm day-to-day, but I'm not ready."

Beltran is fearful that if he returns too soon, he might have to make a strong throw to get a runner and could do more damage to the elbow and be out longer.

Trainer Nick Swartz told the paper that the area of irritation in Beltran's elbow is getting smaller each day.

"Of the 10 or 12 throws he makes, eight or nine are without discomfort," Swartz said to the paper. "It's most definitely day-to-day."

Philadelhia Phillies: Jose Mesa has his closer's job back, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Mesa was warming in the bullpen in the ninth inning last night, but wasn't needed when lefty Dan Plesac retired Jim Edmonds, Albert Pujols and Tino Martinez in the ninth inning to preserve the 7-4 win.

"If Edmonds got on, Jose was in," manager Larry Bowa said to the paper.

Mesa lost his job temporarily after a loss to San Diego on Aug. 3. Since then, he worked in the bullpen with pitching coach Joe Kerrigan and pitched in non-save situations, according to the report.

"Joe thinks he's improved a lot," Bowa said. "He's got to get back out there and do what he can do if we're going to go to the next level."

Boston Red Sox: Jeremy Giambi has a partially torn labrum (left shoulder) and will have season-ending surgery Tuesday in California, performed by Dr. Lewis Yocum, the Boston Globe reported. Giambi finished his first season in Boston with a batting average of .197 with five homers and 15 RBI in 50 games. He managed only 127 official at-bats and his on-base percentage was .342.

"I'm just disappointed for Jeremy and the ball club that things didn't work out for him this year, " Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein said to the Globe last night after meeting with manager Grady Little. "He has a pretty severe injury and that probably explains a lot. He's a good hitter who had a bad year and I'm sure he'll bounce back. We weren't able to get him a lot of at-bats. It seemed like he was swinging through pitches that in previous years he had driven."

Giambi is with the Sox in Seattle and plans to return to Boston after the surgery.

"I just have to deal with it the best I can," said the 28-year-old first baseman/outfielder to the paper. "I've talked to my family, my fiancee, my doctor, and agent and came to the decision as to what is best."

Giambi is signed through the end of this season. Asked if the Sox would have interest in him for next year, Epstein answered, "We're thinking about 2003."

"That's baseball," reasoned Giambi to the Globe. "In my situation you really can't expect 'em to say anything. They can't foresee next year."

Cincinnati Reds: The team placed outfielder Adam Dunn on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained left thumb.

The move opened a roster spot for right-handed pitcher Seth Etherton, who made his National League debut against the Houston Astros on Saturday.

Dunn was injured while trying to make a diving catch on a sinking line drive in the sixth inning of Friday's victory over Houston. He stayed in the game and hit a two-run, game-winning homer in the 10th inning for a 9-7 victory.

"I saw what you guys saw," Reds manager Dave Miley said. "I didn't know until late last night. He hit that ball 400 feet. That shows you the kind of pain tolerance he has."

Dunn's hand was placed in a hard cast after an MRI exam Saturday. He will be re-evaluated in two weeks.

"I had a feeling it wasn't right," Dunn said Saturday. "I was just hoping it would go away. Sometimes you dive and you feel something, but it goes away. It was pretty sore this morning. It won't need surgery.

"There were two things that I thought I'd never have to worry about -- hitting .210 and being on the DL. I'm not even on the DL a day, and I already hate it."

Dunn is batting .215 with a team-best 27 homers in 116 games this season.

Etherton was acquired from Anaheim in December 2000. A series of arm problems kept him from pitching for the Reds until Saturday.

San Francisco Giants: Outfielder Tony Torcato was stranded at New York's JFK International Airport as he tried to join the team from Fresno as Barry Bonds' bereavement-leave replacement, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. At one point Friday, the team had no idea where Torcato was and dispatched major-league security officials to the airport hoping to find him there, according to the paper.

Torcato landed at JFK about 4 p.m. Thursday, about the time of the blackout. He did not want to leave the airport because the baggage systems were down, and he could not get his luggage, according to the Chronicle.

MLB officials were expected to get Torcato to Hartford, Conn., where he is to catch a flight to Montreal this morning, according to the paper.

Cleveland Indians: The Indians recalled rookie left-hander Cliff Lee from Triple-A Buffalo on Saturday to start against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

To make room for Lee the Indians placed RHP Jason Boyd on the 15-day disabled list with shoulder tendinitis. Boyd has been experiencing discomfort in his shoulder for weeks.

Lee got his first major league win June 30 against the Kansas City Royals. He went 7-1 with a 2.82 ERA in the minors.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.