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Baseball briefs

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times,
published September 14, 2001

Indians juggle rotation for return

CLEVELAND -- With the schedule wiped out until Monday, the Indians will work out during the weekend, then begin a three-game series on Tuesday against the Royals with an altered rotation.

Chuck Finley, who has been waiting to start since Tuesday, will face Kansas City in the series opener at Jacobs Field. C.C. Sabathia will start Wednesday night's game, and Bartolo Colon will pitch the finale on Thursday night.

Ryan Drese had been scheduled to start Wednesday's postponed game against the Royals. He will start Sept. 21 at Minnesota, with Finley coming back Sept. 22 and Sabathia on Sept. 23.

The odd man out will be Steve Woodard, who has struggled in his past three starts, giving up 19 runs in eight innings.

Whether Woodard or Dave Burba, who already was sent to the bullpen, will regain their places in the rotation depends in part on how well Drese performs and whether Cleveland can distance itself further from the Twins, who trail the Central leaders by six games.

BRAVES: Manager Bobby Cox said Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Burkett were the scheduled starters for the weekend's three-game set against Florida. Instead, the three will pitch in that order beginning Monday in Philadelphia when the Braves open a four-game set there.

Also, Chipper Jones pulled his right groin in a game Saturday in Chicago. He sat out Sunday's game and has had five days to rest it. He says he'll be ready when play resumes.

CARDINALS: The team is taking the day off today for the national day of mourning, but has a workout scheduled for Saturday morning. "The way you keep your timing is keep repeating as much as you can," manager Tony La Russa said. "The boys have put a lot into these workouts, for whatever it's worth."

DIAMONDBACKS: Jason Bulger and Arizona agreed on a contract more than three months after the team made the pitcher its first-round draft pick. The Arizona Republic reported that Bulger, who played at Valdosta State, got a signing bonus and other incentives that could be worth about $950,000.

METS: All players have made it back to New York except for shortstop Rey Ordonez, who was stranded after spending Monday's day off in Florida. Ordonez was driving back to New York and was expected make it home by today.

COLE PLEADS INNOCENT: Former major-league outfielder Alex Cole of St. Petersburg has pleaded innocent to federal drug charges.

The 35-year-old Cole, who played for five major-league teams, was arrested Aug. 9 at Harbor Yard Stadium in Bridgeport, Conn., as he prepared to play for the independent Bridgeport Bluefish.

Cole was arrested along with four other men and charged with conspiracy to distribute heroin, the U.S. Attorney's office said.

During a four-minute arraignment, U.S. Magistrate Judge William I. Garfinkel set at tentative trial date of Oct. 8.

FSL: The Florida State League, like many other minor leagues, has suspended its title series and declared co-champions, Brevard County and Tampa.

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