Outfielder in DH role till further notice

Originally Published: August 18, 2003
Associated Press

Cleveland Indians: Outfielder Matt Lawton was activated from the 15-day disabled list and infielder Zach Sorensen was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo on Monday.

Lawton dislocated his right middle finger July 11 while swinging the bat in a game against the Chicago White Sox.

"He'll play as the DH exclusively until we get him on a return-to-throw program," manager Eric Wedge said, adding that there is no timetable for Lawton to resume throwing.

Lawton has been hampered by injuries since being acquired in the multiplayer trade that sent second baseman Roberto Alomar to the New York Mets in December 2001. He spent time on the disabled list in 2002 with a strained left calf and then a sore right shoulder that eventually required surgery last September.

"It was unfortunate that he got hurt when he did because he was on a roll," Wedge said. "He was as hot as anybody."

Sorensen batted .143 with one homer and two RBI in 27 games in Cleveland.

New York Yankees: Left-hander Gabe White threw a scoreless inning in his first minor league rehabilitation start for the Yankees.

White has been on the 15-disabled list since late June with a groin strain. He is scheduled to pitch for Class-A Tampa on Wednesday night and might join the Yankees late this week.

In Monday's Gulf Coast League game against the Tigers, White struck out one and walked one over the hitless inning.

"It was encouraging," White said.

White threw 18 pitches, including 11 strikes. White was acquired from Cincinnati on July 31 for a player to be named.

Yankees right-hander Jon Lieber threw 35 pitches off a bullpen mound Monday. He is slated to pitch for the second time since undergoing elbow reconstructive surgery last August for Class-A Tampa on Wednesday.

Cincinnati Reds: Infielder Brandon Larson was placed on the 15-day DL with an injured left shoulder.

Larson, who opened the season as Cincinnati's third baseman but slumped and was sent to the minors briefly, has a strained and swollen left shoulder.

Larson aggravated his left shoulder while diving for a ball on Saturday against Houston and missed Sunday's game. The injury was revealed in an MRI done Monday morning. He went on the disabled list at Triple-A Louisville with tendinitis in the shoulder earlier this season.

He will skip the Reds' road trip to Arizona and Houston and is to be evaluated in a week by Reds team physician Timothy Kremchek.

Also Monday, the Reds transferred injured outfielder Austin Kearns to the 60-day disabled list. Kearns underwent season-ending surgery last week to repair damage to his right shoulder.

Reds complete trade: The Reds acquired minor league left-hander Tyler Pelland from Boston on Monday, completing the trade that sent reliever Scott Williamson to the Red Sox last month.

Pelland, 19, went 3-4 with a 1.62 ERA in three starts and eight relief appearances for Boston's Gulf Coast League team in Sarasota, Fla.

Boston also sent Class A pitcher Phillip Dumatrait and an undisclosed amount of cash to the Reds in the July 29 deal.

Anaheim Angels: The club requested waivers on infielder Benji Gil for the purpose of granting his unconditional release.

Gil appeared in 63 games this season, hitting .192 with one homer and nine RBI. In four seasons with Anaheim, he hit .257 with 18 homers and 91 RBI in 337 games.

During the 2002 postseason, Gil hit .667 with two runs, one double and one RBI in six games as the Angels won their first World Series championship.

Gil has appeared in 604 major league games, including two stints with Texas and then Anaheim. He has a .237 career average with 32 homers and 171 RBI.

Detroit Tigers: The Detroit Tigers recalled left-hander Nate Robertson from Triple-A Toledo to start Monday night's game against the Texas Rangers.

Robertson was 9-7 with a 3.14 ERA in 24 appearances for the Mud Hens. He ranks fourth in ERA for the International League, having gone 4-1 with a 1.50 ERA in his past five starts.

Meanwhile, right-hander Chris Mears was optioned to Toledo. He had gone 0-1 with a 4.24 ERA and five saves in 21 appearances for the Tigers.

Colorado Rockies: Reliever Jose Jimenez will make his first start since 1999 on Thursday when he fills in for Shawn Chacon, who has elbow tendinitis.

Jimenez pitched a no-hitter and a two-hit shutout in consecutive starts for the Cardinals in 1999 but was converted to a reliever when he was traded to the Rockies after that season.

He is the club's career saves leader with 101 but was demoted from closer to long reliever in July after allowing 10 walks at home and allowing 2.03 baserunners per inning. His ERA is 5.81.

Jimenez (1-6) has pitched well in his last two outings, going four innings in each and earning a victory and a save.


Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press

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