Friday, August 17, 2001
Rijo returns tonight but not as starter
By John Fay
The Cincinnati Enquirer
ST. LOUIS Contrary to what Jose Rijo said on the radio Thursday, he's not starting tonight for the Reds against Milwaukee.
Reds manager Bob Boone laughed when told what Rijo had said.
He's a beauty, Boone said. Maybe John Allen told him to say it.
In the lost summer that is the Reds' season, chief executive officer Allen has had few things to market. But Rijo's return after five surgeries and six years should sell some tickets (though there had not been a great bump as of Thursday afternoon).
A lot of people are pulling for him, Reds pitching coach Don Gullett said. The mental anguish he's gone through to get here is incredible. There has to be a lot of anticipation.
Boone won't commit to using Rijo tonight in his new role as a reliever. Lance Davis will start.
It depends on the game, Boone said. I'd like to start him off in an innocuous situation to find out what we've got.
Gullett and Boone are confident Rijo can be successful. He doesn't have the stuff he had when he went 111-87 with a 3.16 ERA over 12 big-league seasons. But he has the experience and confidence from that success.
It's an interesting deal, Boone said. I think he'll survive. He's pretty wily. He'll hold his own.
Gullett admits, on stuff alone, Rijo probably wouldn't be on the roster.
He doesn't have to learn to pitch, Gullett said. It's like riding a bike. If he's physically healthy, he's such a com petitor and hard worker that he can be successful.
Right fielder Adam Dunn was in fifth grade in 1990, when Rijo was named World Series MVP.
We don't really know the guy that well, first baseman Sean Casey said. He's always been really friendly, but until you play with someone, you don't get to know them. I guess we will. He's a great guy to have around.
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