Sunday, August 24, 2003

Notes: Team's roster holes hard to plug


Reds turn to little-known minor-leaguers for help

By John Fay
The Cincinnati Enquirer

HOUSTON - Meet Jim Chamblee, the newest Red. Chamblee, a 27-year-old utility player, was called up from Triple-A Louisville to take Barry Larkin's spot on the roster.

He is one of five players now on the Reds' roster who started the year as a minor-league free agent.

"It's been unbelievable," assistant general manager Brad Kullman said. "I've been in the office all day trying to get players to keep competitive."

Pitcher Mark Watson remained in the hospital with swelling in his legs and arms, and he is likely to join Larkin on the disabled list. He will be the 10th Red on the list and that, coupled with the trades that sent away six players for prospects, is why the Reds are scrambling.

They probably will get Tim Hummel, a 24-year-old third baseman, on Tuesday from the White Sox as the player to be announced in the Scott Sullivan trade.

Chamblee comes to the Reds after hitting .280 with five home runs and 32 RBI in 80 games for Louisville.

"He can play all the infield positions," Reds manager Dave Miley said. "He can play the outfield as well. He probably won't start any games, but he gives us some flexibility."

If Chamblee gets in a game for the Reds, it will be his major-league debut. He was a 12th-round draft choice of Boston in 1995 and spent six years in the Red Sox minor leagues before becoming a free agent. His best year was 1999 when he hit .274 with 24 home runs and 88 RBI at Triple-A Pawtucket.

WATSON UPDATE: Doctors believe the swelling Watson is experiencing is kidney-related.

Watson will come home with the team today, then be admitted to Good Samaritan Hospital for a kidney biopsy.

MORE INJURIES: There is help on the way for the Reds on the injury front, trainer Mark Mann said.

• Russell Branyan (ankle): "He's doing well in agility and running drills. He should be ready for a rehab assignment in a week."

• Jose Acevedo (ankle): "He played catch (Friday). He's progressing to long toss."

Acevedo is a week to 10 days from throwing off the mound.

SCOTT WHO? When Scott Sullivan showed up at Chicago's U.S. Cellular Field for his first day as a member of the White Sox, the security guard was unimpressed.

"Sully said: 'Sir, I'm Scott Sullivan, nice to meet you,' " Chris Reitsma said. "The guard told Sully he followed the game for 46 years and had never heard of him. They finally got someone to let him in."

Sullivan pitched two perfect innings Friday, striking out three.

FARM REPORT: Ty Howington made his third start for Double-A Chattanooga, a 7-5 loss to Mobile. He allowed only two runs on three hits over five innings and struck out three, but he walked eight.




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ON THE AIR
Sunday's sports on TV, radio

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