Reyes could miss Mets' opener

Posted: Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Jose Reyes can only use his speed if he keeps his legs healthy.

The New York Mets' second baseman might miss opening day after injuring his right hamstring again while stealing a base during a spring training game Sunday.

Tests revealed a Grade 1 strain, the least severe.

''I've had a lot of trouble with that leg,'' Reyes said Tuesday in Port St. Lucie, Fla. ''I don't know why, we have to figure it out.''

It's the third time in a year the fleet-footed Reyes has pulled his right hamstring. General manager Jim Duquette said the team will speak with doctors, conditioning coaches and trainers about his workout program.

Reyes, 20, said he paid particular attention to strengthening his legs when he worked out during the offseason. He missed three weeks with the same injury last May, and five games in July when he tweaked the hamstring.

Considered one of the top prospects in baseball, Reyes was impressive as a rookie last year after being called up from the minors in midseason. He hit .307 with five homers, 32 RBIs and 13 steals in 274 at-bats before his season ended on Aug. 31 due to a severely sprained left ankle.

Reyes also made fine plays at shortstop, but was shifted to second base in the offseason after Kaz Matsui came over from Japan and joined the Mets.

''Right now opening day is questionable, but we're going to deal with it on a week-by-week basis,'' Duquette said. ''Individuals heal differently and a lot of it will depend on how he rehabs and how quickly he heals.''

Reyes and Matsui have not played in the field together in a spring training game. Matsui, who had been sidelined by a cut on his finger, made his debut at shortstop Monday against Los Angeles.

Another shortstop, Barry Larkin, said he might reconsider his decision to retire after this season.

Larkin, who turns 40 next month, has played with Cincinnati since 1986 and talked with the Reds about joining their front office in 2005.

''My wife asks me that all the time, surprisingly, if I have a productive year and stay healthy, will I come back?'' Larkin said Tuesday. ''If the kids want to see me play and the Reds really want me back, I could play another year.''

In Mesa, Ariz., the Chicago Cubs got good news on an off day when pitcher Mark Prior threw from a mound for the first time in two weeks.

Prior, sidelined by an inflamed right Achillies' tendon, threw 25 to 30 pitches, general manager Jim Hendry said. The session was closed to reporters, but Hendry said Prior had ''no discomfort'' and that things ''went exactly as we had hoped.''

The right-hander tentatively is scheduled to start Chicago's third game of the season, April 8 at Cincinnati, but it's unclear whether he'll be ready in time. He's slated to play catch Wednesday and throw from a mound Thursday.

In exhibition games:

Marlins 10, Orioles 2

At Jupiter, Fla., Hee Seop Choi hit a three-run homer off Rodrigo Lopez in the first inning and made two nice plays in the field. Choi is hitting .467 (7-for-15) in his last seven games with three home runs and seven RBIs.

Javy Lopez hit his first home run of the spring and drove in both Baltimore runs.

Twins 5, Blue Jays 4

At Fort Myers, Fla., AL Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay allowed one run in four innings for Toronto. Twins ace Brad Radke matched Halladay, allowing one run and two hits in four innings.

Tigers 11, Cardinals 6

At Lakeland, Fla., St. Louis right-hander Jason Marquis has a sore elbow and didn't make his scheduled start. Detroit starter Mike Maroth gave up two runs and four hits in three innings.

Mets (ss) 6, Astros 3

At Port St. Lucie, Fla., Mets right-hander Aaron Heilman got another chance to make his bid for the fifth spot in the rotation and had some success. He gave up a run in the first inning and a two-run homer to Brad Ausmus in the fifth, but retired 11 straight in between.

Padres 9, Mariners 6

At Peoria, Ariz., Joel Pineiro struggled against San Diego again, and the Padres got a three-run triple from Ryan Klesko. Sean Burroughs hit his first home run of the spring, and Tagg Bozied had an inside-the-park homer for the Padres.

Rockies 12, Diamondbacks 4

At Tucson, Ariz., Todd Helton hit his fourth homer of the spring and Shawn Estes pitched five scoreless innings for Colorado. Jeromy Burnitz and Charles Johnson also homered for the Rockies.

Royals 12, Rangers 7

At Surprise, Ariz., Kenny Rogers allowed 11 of 20 batters to reach base. He gave up 10 hits in 3 1-3 innings and walked one, allowing seven runs, six earned.

Kansas City's Chris George gave up a home run to Hank Blalock, then retired his final seven batters.

Giants 9, Brewers 2

At Phoenix, Ray Durham hit a leadoff homer and Brett Tomko pitched four innings for San Francisco. Milwaukee center fielder Scott Podsednik, who missed more than a week with a bruised right knee, returned to the lineup and doubled twice.

Angels 9, White Sox 7

At Tempe, Ariz., Bartolo Colon and Esteban Loaiza, the top two starters for the White Sox last season, were on opposite sides this time.

Colon, who signed a $51 million, four-year contract with the Angels during the offseason, allowed six hits and three runs in 3 1-3 innings.

Loaiza, a 21-game winner who finished second in AL Cy Young Award balloting, gave up seven hits and three runs in five innings while striking out six.

Reds 5, Red Sox 4

At Sarasota, Fla., Jose Acevedo made a strong bid for a spot in Cincinnati's rotation, pitching five solid innings.

Adam Dunn returned to the starting lineup and went 1-for-2 with a sacrifice fly. He had missed six games with an infected finger. Danny Graves worked a perfect inning for the win.



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