Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Milford grad out for final series

MLB notebook

Enquirer staff and wire reports

Pittsburgh Pirates rookie right-hander John Van Benschoten will not pitch in his hometown this weekend against the Reds at Great American Ball Park.

Pirates starting pitcher John Van Benschoten is a Milford grad.
(AP photo)
Shoulder stiffness has forced the Milford High graduate to end his season early.

Van Benschoten, who went 1-3 with a 6.91 ERA in six outings after being recalled from Triple-A Nashville, was scheduled to start last Thursday against the Cubs. But after meeting with team officials, it was decided he would skip his final two starts of the season.

"He could probably pitch," Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon said. "The shoulder is fatigued, the innings are up, and it just makes sense to be extra careful with him. He's had a nice experience up here."

Van Benschoten, who was the No. 8 overall selection in the 2001 major-league first-year player draft as a first baseman/pitcher at Kent State, has tossed a career-high 160 1/3 innings this season. He thinks the shoulder problem is simply the result of fatigue.

METS: Omar Minaya is leaving the Montreal Expos to become the head of baseball operations for the New York Mets.

Minaya, the general manager of the Montreal Expos for the past three seasons, was contacted earlier this week and told the Mets on Tuesday that he would leave the Expos to return to New York, a baseball official said.

Minaya's hiring probably will be announced Friday, the official said, when the Expos start a season-ending three-game series at New York.

SUSPENSIONS: Pitchers Pedro Astacio of Boston and Brad Halsey of New York each were suspended for three games and fined an undisclosed amount for intentionally throwing at batters. San Francisco Giants pitcher Dustin Hermanson also was suspended for three games and fined an undisclosed amount for intentionally hitting Jeff Kent of the Astros in a game last week.

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