Wednesday, June 9, 2004

It's thumbs down for Kearns

Sore digit puts outfielder on disabled list

By Kevin Kelly
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Austin Kearns is chewing on the nail of his left thumb, but it's the right thumb that put him on the 15-day disabled list. The outfielder has been bothered by a sore that has been slow to heal.
The Cincinnati Enquirer/MICHAEL E. KEATING

OAKLAND, Calif. - He can catch, throw and act the cheerleader.

But Austin Kearns will not be swinging a bat until the sore on his right thumb is completely healed.

"It was getting better," Reds manager Dave Miley said. "It's just not 100 percent."

Therefore the Reds placed Kearns on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday. That created a spot on the 25-man roster for starting pitcher Jung Keun Bong, who made his Reds debut Tuesday.

"I think it's the best thing," Kearns said. "We tried to take time and get it better, but it hasn't done that. So we'll let it rest and heal up."

The move is retroactive to June 2, meaning Kearns will be eligible to come off the DL on June 17. He will remain with the team.

Kearns had been out of the starting lineup since May 28 because of the sore, which developed after a callous on his thumb cracked. Kearns' lone plate appearance since came as a pinch-hitter June 1.

"I want to get well so I can go out there and not have to worry about it," Kearns said. "I felt like I've been experimenting over the past week or two, trying to find all kinds of different things to get it better.

"Hopefully it will just heal on its own so I can get back out there and stay better."

This is Kearns' second trip to the disabled list this season. He missed 19 games from April 28-May 19 because of a broken left forearm suffered when Pirates pitcher Ryan Vogelsong hit him with a pitch April 26.

"I'll be the No. 1 cheerleader in the dugout I guess," said Kearns, who is hitting .195 with three home runs and 13 RBI in 28 games this season. "I'm not going to mope around or anything, but it's impossible not to be frustrated."

TRAVELING MAN: Reds second baseman D'Angelo Jimenez had raised his season batting average from .216 to .255 in the 10 games before Tuesday.

The team's leadoff hitter in 36 games, Jimenez did so primarily from the fifth, sixth and seventh spots in the Reds' batting order.

"I'm feeling good at the plate," said Jimenez, who was 17-for-41 in those 10 games. "Being in the fifth, sixth spot, I feel comfortable there.

"I get to see what (the other pitcher's) got. But right now I just feel good no matter where I hit."

DAY TWO: The Reds chose 32 more players - 15 pitchers, eight infielders, six outfielders and three catchers - on Tuesday's second day of the amateur draft.

Included were pitcher Dylan Moseley (33rd round, Arkansas High), the brother of Double-A Chattanooga pitcher Dustin Moseley, and outfielder Brandon Roberts (45th round, University of Michigan), the son of Reds minor-league hitting coordinator Leon Roberts.

UP NEXT: Reds pitcher Jose Acevedo (3-4, 4.26 ERA) is scheduled to make his 12th start of the season, and first career appearance against the A's, today. The right-hander has walked two batters in his past 27 innings pitched.

Oakland right-hander Rich Harden (2-3, 3.67) is scheduled to start for the A's.


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