Tuesday, May 16, 2000

Larkin may return today

No ill effects from BP

By Chris Haft
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HOUSTON — Facing Mark Wohlers' fastballs in extra batting practice Monday reinforced shortstop Barry Larkin's hopes that he could be activated from the disabled list as early as tonight.

        A decision on Larkin's status must wait until team physician Dr. Tim Kremchek examines him today. But performing baseball-related tasks for the last four days without feeling any ill effects in his injured left hand has encouraged Larkin.

        “Today I faced 95 (mph) and had no (negative) reaction. So that was pretty cool,” Larkin said.

        Manager Jack McKeon reiterated that when Larkin returns, shortstop Gookie Dawkins will go back to the minors and utilityman Juan Castro will stick with Cincinnati. Leaving Dawkins on the bench with the Reds likely would stifle his development.

        “Gookie has a tremendous amount of potential and it would be in his best interests to have him play every day,” McKeon said.

        The Reds are 13-9 since Larkin was injured on April 21.


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