Thursday, May 31, 2001

Griffey, Harnisch improved

By Chris Haft
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The sight of Ken Griffey Jr. in center field and Pete Harnisch on the mound before Wednesday's game was reassuring to the Reds.

        But that was offset by Dennys Reyes' expected trip to the disabled list and John Riedling's transfer from the 15- to the 60-day DL.

        As often has been the case, injury-related developments dominated the Reds' day. That's bound to happen when so many players are hurt. A rundown:

        • Griffey took practice fly balls from coaches Tim Foli and Bill Doran as therapist Lonnie Soloff watched carefully. Though none of the balls Griffey fielded looked especially challenging, Foli said testing the slugger's ability to take his first couple of steps was the drill's primary objective.

        Griffey, who took flies once earlier, said his injured left hamstring “wasn't as much of a drag as it was earlier, which is an improvement.”

        But the timetable for Griffey's return remained uncertain. Dr. Tim Kremchek said the superstar will continue working out in Cincinnati while the team departs on its 14-day, 12-game road trip starting Friday in St.Louis.

        • In a mild surprise, Harnisch threw about 35 pitches off a bullpen mound after making about 60 throws in long-toss catch. Harnisch, who experienced significant discomfort when he tried to throw Sunday, said he felt “very, very, very encouraged” at the lack of pain in his troublesome elbow.

        Harnisch plans to throw again Saturday in St. Louis with more intensity.


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