Saturday, March 17, 2001

Larkin will lead off - if healthy

By Chris Haft
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        SARASOTA, Fla. — For now, Reds manager Bob Boone still wants to bat Barry Larkin leadoff.

        “I think if we opened today, that's where we'd start,” Boone said Friday.

A lot could change, mainly because the Reds' projected starting lineup has barely played together. Larkin already has missed 10 games with a strained right groin and won't return before Tuesday.

        Boone still expects Larkin to be in the Opening Day lineup.

        “If he can play four or five (exhibition) games, I'm pretty confident he can be baseball-ready,” Boone said.

        In Larkin's absence, Boone has used Pokey Reese and backup infielder Donnie Sadler at leadoff.


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