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Larkin Almost Makes a Move to Left

From Associated Press

The Cincinnati Reds set their pitching staff Sunday by awarding Jimmy Anderson a spot in the starting rotation and giving bullpen jobs to Kent Mercker, Felix Heredia and Josias Manzanillo.

But the big news was that Manager Bob Boone’s lineup card for the exhibition game in Sarasota against Cleveland had shortstop Barry Larkin playing the outfield for the first time.

“I’ve never played outfield,” Larkin, 38, said. “Skip asked me the other day if I brought my outfield glove. I said, ‘Yeah.’ He said, ‘Well, all right, bring it tomorrow because you’re playing left.’ ”

A pregame downpour left the outfield slick and prompted Boone to change his mind and he moved Larkin back to short. It didn’t end Boone’s latest experiment -- he’s leaning toward starting Larkin in center field today.

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In his 16 major league seasons, Larkin has played three games at second base and the other 1,940 at shortstop. He has never played outfield -- not even in a spring training game.

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Outfielder Eli Marrero of the St. Louis Cardinals has acid indigestion.

He has been in and out of the lineup all month with what was described as a “gastrointestinal irritation.” He played in seven of the first eight games, sat out the next five, appeared in three in a row but hasn’t played since March 14.

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“He went through a whole battery of tests last week in St. Louis,” said Dr. George Paletta, the club physician.

“Nothing else showed up. Now, it’s a matter of finding the medication where he starts feeling better. After that, it becomes a baseball decision when he can play.”

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The New York Yankees fined right fielder Raul Mondesi for returning late from a trip home to the Dominican Republic last week. Mondesi was give permission to fly home after Wednesday night’s game. He was scheduled to return in time for Saturday’s game, but missed his flight. The amount of the fine wasn’t disclosed.

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Mondesi said he arrived at the airport about 40 minutes before his plane was scheduled to depart, but was not allowed to get on board because there wasn’t enough time to check his baggage through security.

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The Colorado Rockies set their pitching rotation, selecting National League rookie of the year Jason Jennings to pitch the opener against Houston instead of Denny Neagle, who has a sore left elbow.

Neagle will be pushed back to the fifth spot behind Jennings, Aaron Cook, Shawn Chacon and Denny Stark.

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David Wells said he didn’t join his Yankee teammates for a Sports Illustrated photo shoot because he’s angry over an article in the magazine three years ago.

The session Saturday, featuring the Yankees’ starting rotation and owner George Steinbrenner, is intended for this week’s cover.


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