Monday, August 16, 2004

In the end, Hummel goes

Club waits until last minute before making a move

By John Fay
Enquirer staff writer

The Reds needed to make a roster move before Sunday's game to open a spot for starting pitcher Luke Hudson.

They had until 1:15 p.m. They used almost every minute of it.

The Reds announced at 12:40 that Tim Hummel had been optioned to Triple-A Louisville.

That might have been the third option.

The Reds considered putting Barry Larkin (strained oblique muscle) or John Vander Wal (sore knee) on the disabled list.

Larkin, in fact, went out and took a dozen groundballs to show he could play in the field.

Larkin clearly wasn't happy about what looked like a tryout.

"It felt all right," he said. "I'm not 100 percent, but I can definitely do what I have to do."

Did he think it was enough to please the brass?

"I don't know what they're thinking," he said. "I guess pinch hitting isn't enough. I'm not going there."

Larkin's injury hampers him most in the field. He originally suffered the injury July 24. Over the next 13 games, he did not play in the field. He was used as a pinch hitter three times in that span. He returned to the lineup Tuesday against Los Angeles. He started Wednesday but has been out of the lineup after tweaking the injury.

Vander Wal had offseason knee surgery and did not join the Reds until July 11. He aggravated the knee Tuesday and has pinch hit twice since.

Hummel has been on the bubble since he was promoted May 9 to take Brandon Larson's spot on the roster. Hummel has struggled at the plate, going 0-for-his-last-11 and 3-for-his-last-42.

KEARNS REHAB: Austin Kearns had to wait for the roster decision to be made to get clearance from the front office to resume his rehab assignment with Triple-A Louisville.

Kearns drove to Toledo, where the Bats had a 6:15 p.m. game against the Mud Hens.

Kearns is coming back after thumb surgery. He had to shut down his rehab last week when he developed a blood blister under the scar. Kearns took batting practice Sunday morning.

"It feels good when I hit it good," Kearns said. "If I get jammed or hit it off the end, it rattles it a little bit. That's something I'm going to have to deal with all year."

The original plan was for Kearns to get 50 at-bats at Louisville. The Collective Bargaining Agreement limits rehab assignments for position players to 20 days. So Kearns must come off rehab by Aug. 22.

FEELING LOW: Paul Wilson does not like life on the disabled list.

"I've been depressed all day," Wilson said.

Wilson was placed on the DL Saturday with a sore back. He'll get a cortisone shot today.

Wilson expects to be ready Aug. 29 - the day he's eligible to come off the DL. Wilson first began having problems in his Aug. 7 start in Colorado.

"I felt like I had to try to go out there and pitch through it," Wilson said.

It obviously affected his pitching. He allowed 14 runs in 6 2/3 innings over his last two starts.

DOUBLE DEBUTS: Two of the pitchers acquired from the Philadelphia Phillies in the Cory Lidle trade made their Reds debuts Saturday.

Right-hander Elizardo Ramirez allowed four runs on eight hits over five innings in Double-A Chattanooga's 7-4 win over Greenville.

Left-hander Joe Wilson allowed three runs on four hits in five innings in Single-A Dayton's 3-1 loss to West Michigan.

REDS FACT: Luke Hudson became the 12th different pitcher to start a game this season. In 2003, the team used a club-record 17 starters.

Reds statistics

(Through Sunday's game)

Casey .341.3964057713838218733424106
Larkin .308.35830254931537412534204
Freel .281.38236647103135121516322812
Dunn .279.40640880114220367582138415
Lopez .267.3331011627904131028008
Pena .263.31627035718121561786316
Jimenez .263.359411521081827446170966
Griffey .253.351300497618020604467101
LaRue .245.328294377215113412180028
Castro .243.27422625551712161037006
Cruz .235.3131151827503221033000
Valentin .219.2681511533715161026004
Hummel .218.28111010244017817104
Larson .212.3041181325603141435105
Bragg .211.2501944101135000
Vander Wal .162.18437262024114000
Romano .154.21426340013210000
Team Totals .255.3363989556101920617148529435921461980
Graves 143.155903660.061262111836
Norton 134.35520051.252292542535
Riedling 434.37530059.263372953232
Harang 744.4919190108.11205554113987
Wilson 944.5423230142.21577672225192
Wagner 215.67330033.144252142021
Van Poppel 355.923010092.21066161161860
Acevedo 5106.3625230127.11549290244098
Claussen 136.9355024.226221951513
White 117.00250027.028212111422
Hancock 218.0483015.22316146710
Matthews 218.84220018.12319186108
Valentine 019.953106.1777274
Team Totals 56615.33117117371040.21169666616167388696

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