Hampton to miss at least two weeks
PITTSBURGH -- Atlanta Braves left-hander Mike Hampton returned to the 15-day disabled list Saturday with tightness in his left forearm, five days after he lasted only four innings in his first start since missing more than two weeks with the same problem.
Hampton, off to a strong start with a 4-1 record and a 1.83 ERA, will miss his scheduled start Sunday against the Pirates. Right-hander Seth Greisinger will likely be called up from Triple-A Richmond to pitch, though the Braves aren't expected to make a roster move until Sunday.
Hampton threw before Friday night's game in Pittsburgh after lasting just 58 pitches Tuesday in Washington. He left with a 1-0 lead but the Braves went on to lose 5-3.
"Yesterday he threw great, but it hurts on every pitch he threw," manager Bobby Cox said Saturday. "His fastball, curveball, changeup, everything was there. But it's tight on every pitch and we're just going to shut him down."
Asked how long he expects Hampton to be out, Cox said, "Two weeks for sure."
Hampton complained of tightness after lasting only 2 1/3 innings during a May 14 start against the Dodgers and was unable to make his next scheduled start. The problem was still there when he pitched Tuesday, even though he was effective.
The right-handed Greisinger, who has pitched in the majors with the Tigers and Twins, is coming off eight scoreless innings in his last start, a 1-0, 12-inning loss Tuesday to Rochester. He is 2-4 with a 3.31 ERA at Richmond after going 2-5 with a 6.18 ERA in 12 games with Minnesota last season.
Cox said Friday he might bring back John Smoltz on three days' rest to start Sunday if Hampton couldn't go, and said Smoltz wanted to do so, but changed his mind Saturday.
"Too many guys [would] pitch on three days," he said. "It doesn't make any sense."
The Braves already are without starting pitcher John Thomson (3-2, 3.42 ERA), who went on the disabled list May 17 with an injured right middle finger and is expected to be out at least two more months.
Braves third baseman Chipper Jones also was out of the lineup Saturday after striking out three times in a 3-1 loss Friday night while playing with a jammed heel. Jones is in a 1-for-21 slump.
"His foot is hurting, but he needs a day off, too," Cox said. "He can barely walk."
Cox didn't say how long he expects Jones to be out. Jones has a .289 average with 7 homers and 26 RBI.
Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press