Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Strained arm puts K.C.'s Appier out of action

Baseball notebook

The Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Royals pitcher Kevin Appier will be out four to six weeks with a strained muscle that could be related to his elbow surgery.

Appier, the only right-hander in Kansas City's rotation, came out in the second inning against Minnesota Friday night. He had surgery in the offseason for a torn flexor tendon in his right elbow.

He lasted only 15 pitches against the Twins before leaving because of a strained muscle in his right forearm.

"The muscle he strained works in conjunction with the muscle-tendon area that was surgically repaired," trainer Nick Swartz said.

Appier, 36, was re-signed by the Royals in September after being released by Anaheim. A 15-year major-league veteran, he has a 169-137 career record, ninth on the active wins list. He pitched for the Royals from 1989-99 and holds the club record with 1,456 strikeouts.

Appier was 0-1 in one start this year with a 13.50 ERA.

"It means we go backward from where he was the other night with regard to where he is pitching-wise," Swartz said. "In the big picture, this will heal."

Manager Tony Pena said he was unsure who would replace Appier in the rotation, although left-hander Dennys Reyes is a possibility.

• First baseman Mike Sweeney was out of the starting lineup for the fifth straight game with a strained wrist. But Swartz said the wrist appeared to be much better and Sweeney could be back today.

CUBS: Mark Prior threw about 50 pitches off a bullpen mound at Arizona's Bank One Ballpark on Tuesday and came away optimistic.

"It's as good as I've felt since I started rehab," he said.

The right-hander threw all of his pitches in what was meant to simulate two innings of work.

Prior has not pitched in a game this season because of an inflamed Achilles' tendon and sore pitching elbow. He will remain in Arizona to continue his rehabilitation work at the Cubs' spring training facility in Mesa. That work is expected to include simulated games.

ANGELS: Shortstop David Eckstein left Tuesday's game against Detroit in the first inning because of a strained right groin. He was hurt while diving back to first base on a pickoff attempt.

RANGERS: Brian Jordan, who had been on the disabled list since March 27 because of a sprained ligament in his left knee, was activated. He went 2-for-14 in four games with Double-A Frisco in a rehabilitation assignment.

A National League All-Star in 1999, Jordan signed a $1,375,000, one-year contract with Texas in the offseason.

The Rangers also designated right-hander John Wasdin and outfielder Chad Allen for assignment. The team purchased the contract of right-hander Doug Brocail from Triple-A Oklahoma and sent first baseman Mark Teixeira to Frisco for a rehab assignment.

BLUE JAYS: The Blue Jays placed catcher Greg Myers, who has a sprained left ankle, on the 15-day disabled list. He is expected to miss at least four weeks, manager Carlos Tosca said.

The Blue Jays purchased catcher Gregg Zaun's contract from Triple-A Syracuse to fill Myers' roster spot.

RED SOX: The Red Sox called up Brian Daubach from Triple-A Pawtucket to replace Ellis Burks, who is expected to miss six weeks after knee surgery.

Daubach was designated for assignment by the Sox on April 10 and then reported to Pawtucket. He was 0-for-1 with a walk in two pinch-hitting appearances this season for the Red Sox and entered the season a .262 career hitter in six big-league seasons.

Daubach, who has often served as a designated hitter and can also play the outfield, averaged 21 homers and 75 RBIs for Boston from 1999-02.

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