Garciaparra, Smoltz out for openers; Griffey, Jeter could join them

An opening act minus the stars

Posted: Wednesday, March 28, 2001

The disabled list will look like an All-Star team on opening day.

Nomar Garciaparra and John Smoltz admitted Tuesday they won't be ready for the start of the season next week, and Ken Griffey Jr. and Derek Jeter may be headed to the DL, too.

So might Kevin Brown (Achilles' tendon), Orlando Hernandez (elbow) and David Cone (shoulder). They would join Kris Benson (elbow), Charles Nagy (elbow), Jaret Wright (shoulder) and John Valentin (knee).

And Albert Belle will be there, too, his career ended by an arthritic hip.

Garciaparra is likely to miss at least the first 2 1/2 months of the season -- and possibly up to four months -- because of an injured right wrist.

The Boston Red Sox shortstop said Tuesday the probability of surgery is ''extremely high.'' The two-time defending AL batting champion, who split a tendon in the wrist when he was hit by a pitch from Baltimore's Al Reyes in September 1999, is to meet with the team doctor.

''It seems like we've kind of exhausted a lot of our options right now,'' Garciaparra said.

Though decision has been made, Garciaparra sounded as if he was resigned to an operation. He's hasn't batted this spring.

''It's going to be hard not being part of baseball, period,'' he said. ''You're watching your team play, and you want to be out there with them.''

Griffey won't play for the rest of spring training and his status for opening day is in doubt.

He pulled his left hamstring while rounding third base Monday and had to be helped off the field. The leg was swollen on Tuesday, when he got several hours of treatment.

''We're not looking at putting him on the disabled list,'' Dr. Timothy Kremchek said. ''Right now, I truly believe there's a possibility he'll play on opening day. We're going to do everything we can to get him in the best shape we possibly can.

''On the other hand, we're not going to do something that's going to allow him to rehurt himself on opening day, just to play that one particular game.''

Smoltz, who missed all of last year following reconstructive elbow surgery, will miss at least two starts. He threw for 10 minutes in the bullpen Tuesday.

''My arm will always be the indicator, and today it was really good,'' Smoltz said. ''I tried to approach it like a game.''

Jeter, sidelined since March 16 by a strained right quadriceps, was the designated hitter Tuesday in an exhibition game for the Class-A Tampa Yankees and went 3-for-7 with a solo homer and was hit by a pitch.

Still, manager Joe Torre said his shortstop is likely headed to the DL.

''I'm leaning that way only because it's probably safer to do that for me in my mind,'' Torre said. ''I don't want to be sorry. He's getting better. If it's going to cost him a week, let it be that way.''

In games it was Boston 11, New York Yankees 2; Texas 10, Cincinnati 3; Atlanta 7, St. Louis 5 in 10 innings; New York Mets 5, Montreal 4 in 11 innings; Houston 7, Los Angeles 5; Detroit 4, Cleveland 3; Minnesota 10, Pittsburgh 5; Kansas City 9, Tampa Bay 3; Philadelphia 2, Toronto 0; Florida 6, Baltimore 2; Seattle 15, Anaheim 2; Chicago Cubs 6, Colorado 1; Oakland 9, San Francisco 5; Arizona 12, Chicago White Sox 5; and San Diego 10, Milwaukee 3.

Red Sox 11, Yankees 2

At Tampa, Fla., Trot Nixon hit a pair of solo homers off Roger Clemens, and Chuck Knoblauch threw out a runner at the plate for his first assist as a left fielder.

Rangers 10, Reds 3

At Sarasota, Fla., Andres Galarraga homered, Ruben Mateo homered and doubled, and Bo Porter drove in three runs.

Braves 7, Cardinals 5

At Kissimmee, Fla., Chipper Jones returned to the lineup after missing five games with a sore left thumb and went 1-for-2 with a walk. Rafael Furcal hit a two-run homer in the 10th.

Mets 5, Expos 4

At Jupiter, Fla., Brian Rose, acquired from Colorado on Monday for Mark Leiter, gave up two runs and four hits in four innings.

Astros 7, Dodgers 5

At Vero Beach, Fla., Tony Eusebio and Keith Ginter hit back-to-back homers to start the fourth inning.

Tigers 4, Indians 3

At Winter Haven, Fla., Brian Moehler, bypassed as Detroit's ace, tuned up for the regular season by allowing one run and six hits in 6 2-3 innings.

Twins 10, Pirates 5

At Bradenton, Fla., Bobby Kielty went 4-for-4 and David Ortiz and Brian Buchanan hit consecutive homers and had three RBIs each.

Royals 9, Devil Rays 3

At St. Petersburg, Fla., Dee Brown went 2-for-4 and drove in four runs for the Royals, who scored four runs off starter Travis Harper.

Phillies 2, Blue Jays 0

At Clearwater, Fla., Amaury Telemaco allowed three hits in 6 1-3 innings and Scott Rolen and Jimmy Rollins each had run-scoring singles.

Marlins 6, Orioles 2

At Melbourne, Fla., Cliff Floyd and Charles Johnson homered.

Mariners 15, Angels 2

At Peoria, Ariz., Carlos Guillen had a grand slam and a triple, driving in five runs.

Cubs 6, Rockies 1

At Mesa, Ariz., Jason Bere allowed five hits in seven shutout innings, and Ricky Gutierrez went 3-for-4 with a two-run homer, a two-run single and a double.

Athletics 9, Giants 5

At Scottsdale, Ariz., Jason Giambi, Olmedo Saenz and Jose Ortiz homered, and Johnny Damon added four hits and scored three runs as the A's won for the 13th time in 15 games, improving baseball's best spring training record to 19-9.

Diamondbacks 12, White Sox 5

At Tucson, Ariz., Frank Thomas hit three solo homers off Armando Reynoso, raising his spring total to five. Jim Parque was rocked for 11 runs -- eight earned -- and 14 hits in 4 1-3 innings.

Padres 10, Brewers 3

At Phoenix, Phil Nevin hit a three-run homer off Jeff D'Amico in the first.

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