CINCINNATI -- Shortly before midnight, Cincinnati Reds interim pitching coach Tom Hume got a phone call.
Left-hander Brandon Claussen was on the line. It was a few hours after one of the worst outings of his career, one that raised questions about whether he would stay in the rotation.
As they talked late Friday after a 12-4 loss to the Chicago White Sox, Claussen told Hume something that he hadn't told anyone else on the Reds' coaching staff. He said his shoulder hurt.
With that, any thought of dropping Claussen from the rotation was put on hold. Dr. Timothy Kremchek examined Claussen on Saturday and diagnosed shoulder tendinitis, prompting the Reds to put him on the 15-day disabled list.
"By no means do I think it's anything serious," Claussen said Saturday before the exam.
Claussen hasn't won since May 19, going 0-4 in five starts while jeopardizing his spot in the rotation. He gave up eight hits and nine runs in two-plus innings Friday night, getting hit hard by a lineup that waited for him to make a mistake.
Claussen (3-8) said the shoulder has bothered him for some time, prompting him to change his delivery to compensate. He lowered his arm when he threw to take some of the stress off the shoulder, but that started bothering his elbow.
In his last two starts, he went back to his normal delivery and felt the tenderness return. He said he had trouble throwing two good pitches in a row.
"I'd throw one pitch and feel good, have life on the ball," he said. "Then I'd try to go back and throw the same pitch and it would be 3 mph off."
Reliever Joe Mays is expected to make Claussen's scheduled start next Wednesday against the Mets in New York. The Reds didn't immediately replace Claussen on the active roster.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press
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