Wanted despite woes; Brown starts Saturday
It would be a "longshot" that Giambi would be left off, manager Joe Torre said before Friday night's game against Toronto.
"Even though he's not totally there, I still watch other teams pitch to him and they still seem to be careful with him," Torre said.
Giambi, who has fought to overcome a benign tumor and other ailments, began the day 3-for-22 since coming off the disabled list.
Torre said Giambi will start the final three games of the season. With John Olerud doing well at first base and Bernie Williams, Kenny Lofton and Ruben Sierra available as the designated hitter, Giambi might be a pinch-hitter in the playoffs.
"If we decide that his presence is going to be a threat, then he certainly deserves to be there for the first go-around," Torre said.
Torre spoke to Giambi three days ago, and hopes he'll get the "fire going" in the next three days.
"He's had a tough year, both physically and emotionally," Torre said. "Spring training on through he's had a tough time. It's not easy all of sudden, here I am playing baseball when it looked for so long like it wasn't going to happen."
Torre also said right-hander Kevin Brown will start Saturday. Brown missed three weeks after breaking his left hand when he punched a clubhouse wall on Sept. 3.
He returned last Sunday at Fenway Park and was hit hard by the rival Red Sox, giving up four runs and six hits in the first inning. He was chased after getting only two outs and was expected to pitch out of the bullpen this week.
"If he feels well enough, chances are he'll be in a situation where we feel he'll be a benefit to us," Torre said.
Torre said they've decided on 23 of the 25 postseason roster spots. He said the other two will depend on if they go with 10 or 11 pitchers. Right-hander Tanyon Sturtze, lefty reliever Felix Heredia and outfielder Bubba Crosby are expected to make the roster.
Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press
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