Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Tavarez benched for 10 games

Baseball notebook

The Associated Press

St. Louis reliever Julian Tavarez was suspended for 10 days Tuesday for applying a foreign substance to balls while pitching last week.

Tavarez appealed the penalty, which was set to start Tuesday night for the Cardinals-Cincinnati game. No action will be taken until a hearing is held.

"The incident that day seemed like it was a very minor thing, and I'm shocked that it would be worth 10 days," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "So, we'll let the process take care of itself, and that's all I'm going to say."

Tavarez was ejected during the opener of Friday's doubleheader against Pittsburgh after umpire crew chief Joe West inspected the pitcher's grimy hat. West said Tavarez and Cardinals manager Tony La Russa "as much as admitted" it was pine tar on his cap.

PIRATES: Manager Lloyd McClendon said he won't give Milford High grad John Van Benschoten his third major-league start against St. Louis Saturday and "in all likelihood" will start veteran. Van Benschoten, however, will remain in the rotation.

BRAVES: Right fielder J.D. Drew cut his head during batting practice Tuesday and was removed from the starting lineup for Tuesday night's game against Colorado. Drew was taken to Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta but was expected to be available as a pinch hitter in the game.

ASTROS: Andy Pettitte had successful surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon in his elbow.

"The surgery went as expected," general manager Gerry Hunsicker said. "There were no surprises. This surgery is such that there is a high probability of him coming back 100 percent."

MARLINS: Though Brad Penny is eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list, it appears he won't be pitching for quite some time.

Penny was injured against the Philadelphia Phillies on Aug. 8. A day later, the Dodgers said Penny had a strained right biceps and was expected to miss one start.

INDIANS: Left-hander Jeremy Sowers, the sixth overall draft pick in June, agreed to contract terms. Sowers was 10-6 with a 3.08 ERA in 19 games for Vanderbilt last season and struck out 119 and walked just 26 in 122 innings.

YANKESS: Slowed by a respiratory infection, Jason Giambi has no timetable for when he'll resume taking batting practice.

WHITE SOX: Magglio Ordonez will miss the rest of the season with a left knee injury, Chicago general manager Kenny Williams confirmed. Ordonez has been sidelined since July 22 with a bone marrow condition.

ROYALS: First baseman Mike Sweeney was placed on the 15-day disabled list because of irritation in his back.

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Tavarez benched for 10 games
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