Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Tendinitis sidelines Wagner

Reds notebook

By John Fay
Enquirer staff writer

CHICAGO - Add Ryan Wagner to the list of players who are probably out for the season.

Wagner returned to Cincinnati Tuesday to be examined by medical director Dr. Tim Kremchek after complaining of soreness in his forearm.

He was diagnosed with tendinitis. He will be re-evaluated this weekend, but it's unlikely he'll pitch again this season.

The news came the day after Ryan Freel suffered a broken thumb trying to bunt against Chicago pitcher Carlos Zambrano.

Freel remained with the team, but all he can do is pinch run.

The number of players on the shelf isn't approaching last year, when 10 players ended their seasons early. But Ken Griffey Jr., Wily Mo Pena, Danny Graves and Wagner are probably out for the year.

Last year Griffey, Graves, Wagner, Paul Wilson, Austin Kearns, Adam Dunn, Jimmy Haynes, Brandon Larson, Reggie Taylor and Mark Watson were out with injuries or shut down for precautionary reasons.

FLUKE FREEL: Freel had never been hit on the hand while bunting before Monday.

("Stuff) happens," he said. "I didn't think it was that bad. At least it's only six games. It's still tough."

Freel leads the team with 36 stolen bases.

"We'll look for a situation to get him in there," Reds manager Dave Miley said.

Freel was fitted with a small splint on the thumb. He's under no limitation as far as running.

"It's probably not a good idea for him to slide head first," Miley said.

BRAGG IN CENTER: Darren Bragg started in center field in Freel's place Tuesday.

You'll probably see him there the rest of the way. The other option in center is Kearns. But that would mean playing John Vander Wal or Jacob Cruz in right, and neither is very mobile.

LOPEZ LEADS OFF: Felipe Lopez was in the leadoff spot Tuesday, replacing Freel. It was the seventh time this season he led off.

UP NEXT: The Reds play the Cubs in the third game of the four-game series at 2:20 p.m. today. Reds right-hander Luke Hudson (4-2, 2.55 ERA) faces left-hander Glendon Rusch (6-2, 3.59).



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