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Notebook: Reyes plans to come back Wednesday
By EDUARDO A. ENCINA
Published July 15, 2007
ST. PETERSBURG - It appears the Devil Rays, barring any setbacks, will have injured closer Al Reyes back when he is eligible to come off the disabled list Wednesday.
Reyes took a significant step forward before Saturday's game, throwing to hitters for the first time since he went on the DL July 4 with a mild rotator cuff strain. He is scheduled to pitch one inning Monday at Class A Vero Beach, have Tuesday off and return Wednesday.
"He looked pretty close to normal," manager Joe Maddon said. "The slider looked good. The changeup looked good."
"I feel very good," Reyes said after throwing 27 pitches - mixing in his changeup and slider - to Rays hitters Jorge Cantu, Josh Wilson, Dioner Navarro and Dustan Mohr. "I'm ready to go Monday down at Vero Beach."
Reyes returned from his second Tommy John surgery this season to become the only reliable reliever. He converted 17 of 18 save opportunities before allowing four runs on two hits and two walks in two-thirds of an inning July 2. That raised his ERA from 3.06 to 4.09.
"When it happened, it was scary," Reyes said. "Good thing it was one or two weeks. ... I just felt tight in my shoulder. I guess that night I was overthrowing. I saw the video after the game, and I was kind of rushing everything."
STRETCHING GLOVER: Once Reyes returns, interim closer Gary Glover will resume his setup duties. He earned his second save of the season Friday, throwing 12/3 perfect innings in the 6-4 victory.
The outing was Glover's longest since June 9, a span of 15 relief appearances.
"I've often thought a mind once stretched has a difficult time going back to its original form," Maddon said.
STOKED: Reliever Brian Stokes had a successful appearance, relieving starter Andy Sonnanstine and pitching 12/3 hitless innings. He allowed an inherited runner to score on a fielder's choice by Bobby Abreu, but it was a step forward for the struggling reliever.
"I thought Stokes looked better," Maddon said. "Just when I gave him the ball on the mound, he's starting to settle in a little better, I think."
ONE SICK MELKY: Yankees CF Melky Cabrera, riding a career-high 10-game hitting streak, was scratched from the starting lineup Saturday with flulike symptoms. Cabrera spent the pregame laying on a table in the trainer's room.
"I didn't see him, but I really don't care to from what I hear," Yankees manager Joe Torre said, joking.
MISCELLANY: C Josh Paul is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment Monday in Vero Beach, catching five innings. He is expected to increase his innings, catching every other day and acting as the designated hitter on days he's not, until he can catch nine innings for consecutive games. ... Durham RHP Jeff Niemann allowing five runs - four earned - on six hits over five innings. He struck out eight, walked three and allowed a home run. ... Vero Beach LHP Jake McGee lasted just 32/3 innings Saturday, allowing five runs - four earned - on five hits.