Sunday, July 18, 2004

Club puts Griffey on gag order


Reds notebook

By John Fay
Enquirer staff writer

Ken Griffey Jr. won't talk about his injured right hamstring. Griffey says that's on orders from the Reds.

"They don't want me to talk about it," Griffey said.

PHOTO GALLERY
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Photos of Saturday's game

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The club has been reluctant to put any kind of a timetable on Griffey's return.

Griffey's mood since the injury has been upbeat.

"He's not as down about it as he has been with some of the other injuries over the last couple of years," said his agent, Brian Goldberg.

Medical director Dr. Tim Kremchek has said the injury is not as severe as the hamstring injuries Griffey suffered in 2001 and 2002.

The 2002 injury kept Griffey on the DL for only 3 1/2 weeks. If this is similar or not as severe, Griffey could return shortly after July 26, the day he is eligible to come off the disabled list.

NO. 1 PICK AGREES: First-round draft pick Homer Bailey has agreed to terms with the Reds.

Bailey, a 6-foot-4, 185-pound right-handed pitcher from LaGrange, Texas, was the seventh overall pick in the June draft.

"It took a little longer than I thought, but I'm very happy," Bailey said Saturday evening. "I'm looking forward to getting started."

Bailey was 14-0 with a 0.67 ERA with 187 strikeouts in 85 2/3 innings in the regular season. He was the USA Today High School Player of the Year and had received a college scholarship offer from Texas.

He will come to Cincinnati Monday to sign the deal.

LARSON HURT: Brandon Larson left Saturday's game after straining his left hamstring running out a groundout in the fourth inning.

An MRI was negative. He's listed as day-to-day and will be re-evaluated today.

BEST EVER: Reds manager Dave Miley and radio play-by-play man Marty Brennaman agreed that St. Louis center fielder Jim Edmonds' catch Friday night was the best they've seen.

Edmonds went high over the fence in center to steal a home run from Jason LaRue.

"Best I've seen in 31 years as a broadcaster," Brennaman said.

"Best I've seen ever," Miley said. "I'm talking about all the reels from the old days - ever."

NO REST FOR LARKIN: Miley plans to start Larkin today, despite the back-to-back day games following a night game.

"Don't hold me to it," Miley said. "But, right now, we're looking at Tuesday as (Larkin's) next day off. He got three days off with the All-Star break."

VANDY TODAY: Miley said John Vander Wal probably will make his first start as a Red today.

"He has some at-bats and some success against (Jeff) Suppan," Miley said.

Vander Wal is 7-for-19 (.368) with a home run against Suppan, who will start for St. Louis.

Vander Wal will start in right field. Miley still hasn't decided the rest of the lineup. He could play Wily Mo Pena in center and Freel at third base.

The way Pena's hitting - four home runs, eight RBI in his last four games - he's unlikely to be on the bench.

FARM REPORT: Third baseman Edwin Encarnacion continues to tear it up at Double-A Chattanooga. Encarnacion was 2-for-4 with a home run in the Lookouts' 6-5 win over Greenville Friday night to extend his hitting streak to six games.

Encarnacion, 21, is hitting .389 since June 20, raising his average from .272 to .305.

If Larson goes on the DL, it might be a good time to give Encarnacion a short big-league trial.

UP NEXT: The Reds wrap up their four-game series with the Cardinals at 1:15 p.m. today. Right-hander Jose Acevedo (4-7, 5.38 ERA) faces right-hander Suppan (8-5, 3.33).

The Cardinals return to Cincinnati July 26-28.

REDS FACT: The bullpen's blown save against the Cardinals Saturday was its 11th in the past 17 opportunities.

Reds statistics

(Through Saturday's game)

BATTERSAVGOBAABRH2B3BHRRBIBBSOSBCSE
Vander Wal.500.667201100010000
Casey.342.3913015610326115552322104
Larkin.299.34827147811225352230202
Pena.290.33716919494112331052302
Freel.280.378279357810511635451757
Castro.272.3101471840141110826005
Jimenez.266.37530845821626285448964
Dunn.262.4033095781160265670112303
Griffey.251.350295487417020604465101
Cruz.247.31897152450219828000
Hummel.242.286919224017515103
LaRue.229.31622328511209301657027
Larson.212.3041181325603141335105
Kearns.195.327871017213131630111
Valentin.183.237120112250311918004
Team Totals.252.337308242577815713107400355712401453
PITCHERSWLERAGGSSVIPHRERHRBBSO
Graves143.125103452.053231810530
Wilson923.5918180115.11214946133575
White013.75130012955419
Jones823.88470153.342242342336
Riedling424.10430048.147262242330
Harang524.251414078.193383782765
Lidle674.7920200127.11327068143482
Acevedo475.3818180103.21126362202683
Norton125.66370035.037252232022
Van Poppel335.701910071.0844545101445
Wagner215.79200018.229141231210
Sanchez027.5333014.1181212498
Matthews218.84220018.12319186108
Team Totals48434.92919135808.2880471442116282548

---

E-mail jfay@enquirer.com




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