<
>

Sexson injures shoulder swinging

PHOENIX -- Arizona Diamondbacks slugger Richie Sexson
probably is headed for the 15-day disabled list after injuring his
left shoulder on a check-swing Wednesday night, manager Bob Brenly
said.

Sexson, who played every inning of every game for the Milwaukee
Brewers last season, fell to one knee and grabbed his shoulder in
obvious pain after the pitch from LaTroy Hawkins of the Chicago
Cubs with one out in the eighth inning.

Team doctor Michael Lee initially diagnosed the injury as a
strained shoulder but an MRI was scheduled Thursday to decide if
there was further damage. The Diamondbacks will await results of
that exam before making a decision on the disabled list.

X-rays were negative, Lee said, and the shoulder was back in
place when Sexson was examined. He said it was preferable that the
power of Sexson's own muscles caused the injury, rather than a fall
or a collision, as was the case with shoulder injuries to Danny
Bautista and Luis Gonzalez the past two seasons.

"The forces were less here, so the chance of severe damage is
much lower as a result of that," Lee said. "But that doesn't mean
that there isn't anything in there that is more severely damaged
and may sit him out for a period of time."

Sexson was a big component of a nine-player trade with the
Brewers in the offseason. Arizona sent six players to Milwaukee as
part of the deal.

Sexson entered Wednesday's game tied with Barry Bonds for the
National League lead in home runs with nine, including a 503-footer
Monday night against the Cubs, the longest home run in Bank One
Ballpark's seven-year history.

His 22 RBIs were tied with Richard Hidalgo of Houston for second
in the NL, five behind Scott Rolen's 27 going into Wednesday's
play.

Initially, Brenly told reporters that Sexson was going on the
DL, but after a brief meeting with Lee, the manager amended that to
say he probably would go there.

Asked what losing Sexson would mean to the Diamondbacks, Brenly
said, "What would losing Barry Bonds do to the Giants? What would
losing Albert Pujols do to the Cardinals?

"He's our RBI power hitter, cleanup hitter, middle of the
lineup, stellar defense at first base. It's going to hurt to lose
him but we've got to find a way to move on."