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Baseball briefs

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 26, 2001


Ankiel's start still in doubt

ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals wouldn't say whether Rick Ankiel would take his turn in the rotation today.

After giving up five runs and five walks against Houston in his last start, Ankiel was sent to the bullpen for a few days. He is 1-2 with a 6.23 ERA.

"It's purely a chance to give him a little peace of mind," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said Wednesday.

"If starting him ends up being a negative for him, you're better off going with somebody who's not as good because you don't want to bury him.

"But if he gets sent out, the guy that pitches in his place isn't somebody that's going to be more exciting than Rick. This guy has a chance to be dynamite."

La Russa and pitching coach Dave Duncan say it's preferable the 21-year-old left-hander remain in the rotation.

OVERSEAS VOTING: More than 12-million All-Star ballots will be distributed in May and June to Japan, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Venezuela.

D'BACKS: Closer Matt Mantei was placed on the disabled list with a stressed ulnar nerve in his right arm and torn tissue next to the nerve. ... Shortstop Tony Womack's leave of absence for his father's funeral will last until at least Saturday and possibly through Monday.

INDIANS: Right-hander Steve Woodard (bruised right elbow) said he is throwing without pain and hopes to return soon.

MARLINS: Rehabbing right-hander Chuck Smith worked 52/3 innings for Triple-A Calgary on Tuesday, allowing two runs on five hits and one walk and striking out five. Right-hander A.J. Burnett, also disabled, gave up one hit in 41/3 shutout innings for Class A Brevard County.

RANGERS: Manager Johnny Oates expects third baseman Ken Caminiti to return to the lineup Friday. Caminiti left last Friday's game with a strained right groin.

RED SOX: Third baseman John Valentin went 0-for-4 as designated hitter for Triple-A Pawtucket in his second game on rehabilitation assignment.

TIGERS: Every decade of Detroit baseball was represented during a 30-minute pregame ceremony to honor the franchise's 100th anniversary in the AL. Former players Al Kaline, George Kell, Bill Rogell, Mickey Lolich, Willie Horton, John Hiller, Lance Parrish, Dave Rozema and Gates Brown were joined by Ty Cobb's granddaughter, Cindy McGowin.

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