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Nomo’s Starting Spot Next Issue

The issue of replacing Hideo Nomo in the rotation will come to the forefront Friday--the day he was next scheduled to start.

The day off Monday will allow Ismael Valdes to start on his usual rest, and Dennis Reyes--Nomo’s true replacement--will start Saturday.

“We’ll take it a start at a time,” pitching coach Glenn Gregson said, adding that the move allows Reyes to stay in the bullpen a little longer.

In the bigger picture, Executive Vice President Fred Claire said he is interested in acquiring a pitcher as he continues talking with teams about Nomo, but that he isn’t focused exclusively on pitching, only the best deal.

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Claire and Gregson contend the Dodger starters have plenty of ability, but experience is an issue.

“When you look at our starting pitching, they’re a very talented group of pitchers,” Claire said. “What has to be realized is there are several young pitchers. Dennis Reyes is really in the rotation for the first time. [Darren] Dreifort is in the rotation for the first time. Chan Ho Park had 40 starts before this season. All the talent is there, now we have to give them support. I’m confident in the talent.”

Reyes started five games for the Dodgers last season, going 2-3 with a 3.80 earned-run average.

“He came up last year, and those who remember know this kid can pitch at the major league level,” Gregson said. “Last year he pitched a very big game on Sunday afternoon against the San Francisco Giants. He’s more than capable of doing a very good job.”

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Valdes agreed.

“Nomo was a great pitcher, and he’s still a great pitcher, but I believe we still have other guys who know how to do the job,” Valdes said. “They’re giving them this chance to start. There’s an open spot right now. Dennis can pitch. He’s shown it in the past. And who else is going to pitch?”

*

Mark McGwire said he plans to try to play Friday in St. Louis, and still has yet to play a regular-season game in Dodger Stadium. He won’t this year either because his back will keep him out of today’s series finale in the Cardinals’ only visit of the season.

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McGwire did play at Dodger Stadium during the 1988 World Series with the Oakland Athletics.

*

Jim Eisenreich started in left field in place of Todd Hollandsworth, who has a sore left shoulder.

TODAY

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DODGERS’ CHAN HO PARK

(4-3, 5.03 ERA)

vs.

CARDINALS’ JUAN ACEVEDO

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(1-1, 4.60 ERA)

* Opponent--St. Louis Cardinals

* Site--Dodger Stadium

* Today--4:35 p.m.

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* Records--Dodgers 28-30, Cardinals 29-28

* Update--The Dodgers play an unusual 4:30 p.m. game before departing for a three-game series in Seattle. Park went a season-high eight innings in his last start Friday against Cincinnati and gave up only two runs, but he got a no-decision when Scott Radinsky blew the save in an 8-4 extra-inning loss.


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