Life's a pitch: Canseco set to start in minors

8/16/2006 - MLB

For Jose Canseco, life in the minors is a pitch.

On Wednesday, Canseco is scheduled to start his first regular-season game as a pitcher for the Long Beach Armada of the Golden Baseball League. It will be the first time the former major-league slugger has pitched in a regular-season game since throwing one inning -- allowing two hits, walking three and giving up three earned runs -- for the Texas Rangers on May 29, 1993.

"Jose is ready to go and we have penciled him into the rotation for the remainder of the season," Armada manager Darrell Evans said Tuesday. "He has been throwing very effectively in bullpen sessions the last several weeks and I'm looking forward to seeing him in live action."

Canseco, 42, features a knuckleball and fastball as his primary pitches. He is set to face the Reno Silver Sox, who lead the GBL in most hitting categories, including batting average and home runs.

Canseco pitched in the BGL All-Star Game in June, retiring just one batter while giving up four earned runs. Since then, he has been working on his mechanics and arm strength with pitching coach Jon Warden, who won the World Series with the Detroit Tigers in 1968.

"I'm grateful that the coaches are giving me this opportunity and I can't say enough about how much I've enjoyed being part of this team," Canseco said. "I've worked hard on my pitching the last five weeks, have learned a lot from Coach Warden, and I'm excited to finally pitch again in a professional game."

Canseco's second start is scheduled against the Yuma Scorpions on Sunday and his third and final start is set for Aug. 26 at home against the San Diego Surf Dawgs.