Cardinals' Morris to start against Phillies

Originally Published: August 21, 2003
Associated Press

St. Louis Cardinals: Cardinals pitcher Matt Morris, sidelined with a broken hand and sprained left ankle since July 22, will start Saturday without the benefit of a rehabilitation assignment.

The Cardinals decided to give Morris, the staff ace the last three seasons, the ball after he pitched in a simulated game at Pittsburgh last week, then threw about 70 pitches in the bullpen Wednesday.

He reported no problems Thursday, so they plan to activate him from the 15-day disabled list in time for Saturday's game against the Philadelphia Phillies.

"It's not the perfect setup but he's ready to challenge it,'' manager Tony La Russa said. "He's going to jump in there after one four-inning simulation in Pittsburgh, but it's late August and there's not a whole lot of time.''

Morris' left ankle is his landing foot, and it was still swollen and black and blue on Thursday. But Morris, 8-6 with a 4.16 ERA, said he was ready to go.

Houston Astros: Infielder Jose Vizcaino was reactivated Thursday almost two months after he went on the disabled list to recover from a broken left arm.

Vizcaino, 35, was hitting .245 in 62 games when he was hit by a pitch June 24, fracturing his left ulna, a bone in his forearm. He missed 49 games.

To make room on the roster, the Astros optioned infielder Eric Bruntlett to Triple-A New Orleans. In 26 games with Houston, Bruntlett, 25, hit .255 with one home run and four RBI.

In another move, the Astros cut catcher Gregg Zaun after Wednesday night's 6-0 loss to the Cubs and purchased the contract of catcher Raul Chavez from New Orleans, where he was considered one of the best defensive catchers in the Pacific Coast League. Chavez, 30, was hitting .273 with six home runs and 47 RBI in 101 games at New Orleans.

New York Mets: The Mets traded minor league infielder Jorge Toca to the Pittsburgh Pirates for a player to be named or cash.

Toca will go from Triple-A Norfolk to the Pirates' Triple-A Nashville affiliate.

Toca was hitting .274 with seven home runs and 52 RBI for the Tides. He was signed by the Mets on Sept. 7, 1998, and hit .259 with five RBI in 25 games for New York from 1999-2001.

Boston Red Sox: Ken Coleman, the broadcaster whose resonant voice carried Red Sox fans through some of their greatest victories and biggest disappointments died Thursday. He was 78.

Coleman died at Jordan Hospital in Plymouth, Mass., where he was being treated for complications from bacterial meningitis, according to his son, William Coleman.

Coleman also was the voice of the Cleveland Indians and the NFL's Cleveland Browns from 1952-65, calling every touchdown Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown ever scored.

He began his Red Sox career in 1966. Coleman left the Red Sox in 1975 for Cincinnati, where he called play-by-play for the Reds through 1978. He returned to Boston in 1979, and stayed until his retirement in 1989.

Coleman called Red Sox games during their Impossible Dream run to the World Series in 1967, as well as their heartbreaking loss to the Mets in the 1986 World Series. In Cincinnati, he witnessed the rise of the Big Red Machine, including their 1975 World Series win over the Red Sox.

Coleman was one of the founders of the Red Sox booster club, the BoSox Club, and was involved with the Jimmy Fund, serving as its second director.

Besides William, Coleman leaves another son, three daughters, three grandchildren and his former wife, Ellen Coleman.

Funeral arrangements are incomplete, William Coleman said.

Baltimore Orioles: Outfielder Marty Cordova will undergo ligament reconstruction surgery on his right elbow next week, ending a frustrating season in which he played only nine games.

Cordova started for Baltimore on opening day, but soon experienced elbow problems and was placed on the disabled list on April 23. The next day he underwent arthroscopic surgery to have bone chips removed from his throwing arm.

The procedure and ensuing rehabilitation program failed to fully restore motion in the elbow, leaving him no choice but to have "Tommy John'' surgery.

"It's something that needed to be done. We tried to avoid it with rehab, but it just wasn't working,'' Orioles manager Mike Hargrove said. "I think this was the only way to go.''

San Francisco Giants: The San Francisco Giants put rookie right-hander Jesse Foppert on the 15-day disabled list Thursday with an inflamed nerve in his pitching arm.

Foppert left his start against the Atlanta Braves in the fourth inning on Wednesday night after experiencing numbness in his right palm. He is 8-9 with a 5.03 ERA in his first full season with the Giants, who put him in their starting rotation out of spring training.

Foppert has an inflammation of his ulnar nerve, according to trainer Stan Conte.

"Pretty much my whole palm was numb,'' said Foppert, whose arm felt fine an hour after leaving the game. "It felt like I was throwing a grapefruit.''

Los Angeles Dodgers: Assistant general manager Kim Ng was named executive of the year by the Los Angeles Business Journal.

Ng received the award at the newspaper's 12th annual Women Making a Difference awards dinner Wednesday night.

Ng, who is also a Dodgers vice president, was one of five people honored out of 100 nominees.

She joined the Dodgers before the 2002 season as one of two female executives in major league baseball to hold such a position. Her responsibilities include trades, arbitration, roster maintenance and contract negotiations.

Previously, Ng worked in the same capacity for the New York Yankees, who made her the youngest assistant GM in the majors when she was 29.

"This award just illustrates that her accolades are not only coming from within the baseball industry but also in the business world," Dodgers general manager Dan Evans said. "She is so deserving of all the laurels she receives."


Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press

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