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Cards' Ankiel might stick around for playoffs

By Times staff writer, Times wire
Published September 1, 2004

ST. LOUIS - Rick Ankiel's return to the majors might not be just a September cameo.

The left-hander, set to be activated from the disabled list today, has been impressive enough during rehabilitation from reconstructive elbow surgery that he'll be considered for the Cardinals' postseason roster.

Manager Tony La Russa said he'd use Ankiel, who last pitched in the majors in 2001, in relief or use him as a spot starter to rest rotation members heading into the playoffs.

Asked if Ankiel, 25, was a candidate to pitch in the postseason, La Russa replied: "Yeah, sure, absolutely."

Ankiel reached the majors at age 19 before being derailed by wildness and injuries.

GIAMBI RETURNS: Former AL MVP Jason Giambi, recovering from a benign tumor, intestinal parasite, strained groin and respiratory infection, saw teammates for the first time since July 27, when he left the Yankees in Toronto for tests that diagnosed the tumor.

He looked far healthier than a month earlier and said he will have a better idea by the weekend when he can rejoin the lineup. He had been working out since Aug. 11 at the team's complex in Tampa and started taking batting practice Sunday.

Meanwhile, the Yankees said they expect to activate reliever Steve Karsay today. The right-hander has missed almost two seasons because of injuries.

DREW AT IMPASSE: Shortstop Stephen Drew, who enrolled in classes at Florida State on Thursday after being unable to come to terms with the Diamondbacks, withdrew from school. But according to Baseball America, talks broke down again, and a deal isn't likely in the near future. Drew, the 15th pick in the June draft, said he will sit out the fall semester but could re-enroll for the spring semester.

CUBS ADD TWO EX-RAYS: Chicago acquired outfielder Ben Grieve from the Brewers and backup catcher Mike DiFelice from the Tigers on the final day for teams to obtain players and have them be eligible for postseason rosters. Chicago sent a player to be named and cash to Milwaukee and a player to be named to Detroit.

TWINS ADD CATCHER: Minnesota acquired catcher Pat Borders, 41, a former Devil Rays farmhand, from the Mariners for minor-league outfielder B.J. Garbe, a 1999 first-round pick who has failed to develop. The Twins have been thin at catcher most of the season, with heralded rookie Joe Mauer having played 35 games because of injuries.

BREWERS: Left-hander Doug Davis was hit on his pitching arm by a line drive in the second against the Pirates and left the game.

- BRIAN LANDMAN, Times staff writer, TIMES WIRES

[Last modified September 1, 2004, 01:10:40]


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