Saturday, September 22, 2001

Reds notebook

LaRue has concussion; Miller only C healthy

By John Fay
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        MILWAUKEE — Jason LaRue had to leave Friday night's game after being hit by a pitch in the seventh inning.

        “He has a concussion and some significant swelling,” Reds trainer Greg Lynn said. “We're still evaluating him.”

        There's a chance LaRue won't be able to play for a few days. That would leave Corky Miller as the only catcher on the roster.

        “We're looking at getting someone else,” Reds manager Bob Boone said.

        Dane Sardinha, last year's second-round draft pick, is on the 40-man roster. But he played Single-A ball this year.

        “We might not have to do anything,” Boone said. “Jason may be all right.”

        Guerrero has concussion

        Wilton Guerrero's bid to establish himself as a potential option at shortstop for the Reds was interrupted suddenly Friday night when he suffered a mild concussion.

        Guerrero, who made his second start in a row at shortstop, collided with Milwaukee second baseman Mark Loretta after collecting his second bunt single of the game. Guerrero and Loretta arrived at first base at the same time as the ball, which was thrown by third baseman Lou Collier.

        Loretta went airborne, flipping over Guerrero and landing on his head. Both players were on the ground for several minutes before leaving the field without assistance.

        Loretta was removed for precautionary reasons and was listed as day to day. Guerrero will be re-evaluated today.

        Guerrero made 12 starts at Triple-A Louisville at short. Only 21 of Guerrero's 540 major-league games have been at short.

        “I've been worried about it, because it's such a key defensive position,” Boone said. “But he played a lot of it at Louisville, and they said it was his best position.”

        The Reds made a commitment to Guerrero for next year by picking up his option for $850,000.

        “I played shortstop a lot in the minors,” he said before the game, “but not so much lately.”

        He gives the Reds another alternative at shortstop. That could be a key if of Pokey Reese doesn't return next year.

        Guerrero lacks power — his home run Thursday was his first in more than a year — but he's always hit for average. His career average is .287. He also can run. He has four steals in five attempts.

        The Reds have been struggling to get offensive production from short since Barry Larkin was sidelined. Reese is hitting .226; Juan Castro is hitting .233.

        Guerrero entered Friday night at .330. With Reese hurt, Guerrero may start at short until he shows he can't play there.

        “We're still trying to find out whether he can,” Boone said.

        Guerrero, the older brother of Montreal star Vladimir, was signed in the offseason as a free agent.

        He struggled in the spring and was demoted to Louisville April 9 after starting the season 0-for-5. He spent the rest of April and , all of May and June in Triple-A before being recalled. to the Reds.

        He has started games at shortstop, second base, third base and left field. He doesn't have a preference.

        “I just want to play,” he said.


        The Reds' first trip since the terrorist attacks went smoothly.

        There were some differences. A security officer from Major League Baseball made the trip with the team. Players had to show ID to get into Miller Park. And a bomb-sniffing dog was taken through the team bus before the traveling party boarded it at the airport in Milwaukee.

        DUNN STREAK:

        Adam Dunn extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a single in the ninth inning.

        NO DECISION:

        Boone still hasn't decided what to do with his rotation beyond Monday's off day.

        “Give me a coin,” he said. “I'm trying to find something scientific, but I can't ... I want to watch these two guys.”

        Boone was referring to Friday's starter, Lance Davis, and today's starter, Jose Acevedo.

        Boone said Acevedo probably will start against Montreal. The right-hander pitched well against the Expos on Sept.1.


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Hughes 12, Withrow 6
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