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BASEBALL DAILY REPORT : DODGERS : Strawberry's Recovery Could Be Slow

May 22, 1992|BILL PLASCHKE

Dave Cilladi, the Chicago Cubs' assistant trainer, said that if Darryl Strawberry's herniated disk is similar to the disk problems suffered by the Cubs' Shawon Dunston and Joe Girardi, much patience is required.

Girardi, who suffered from the less severe bulging disk, was treated with rest and rehabilitation last season and was on the disabled list from April 17 to Aug. 6. Dunston, whose herniated disk was discovered in January, recently underwent surgery after attempting to play during spring training and the first three weeks of the season.

"These things take time and patience, there is no other way around it," Cilladi said.

Like Girardi and Dunston, Strawberry has been been hospitalized for nearly a week.

Todd Benzinger, explaining his streak as the starting first baseman--a .400 average in his last four games with two doubles and two runs batted in: "When you get up there as a pinch-hitter or as a player off the bench, all you can think about is not striking out," Benzinger said. "When you have four at-bats a game, you can be more relaxed and see the strike zone better."

Benzinger has struck out eight times in 45 at-bats as a starter, and six times in 24 at-bats when he has come off the bench.

Meeting a challenge: Since it was announced that Strawberry was going on the disabled list, Eric Davis has had five hits in 17 at-bats (.294) after collecting five hits in his previous 46 at-bats. . . . Since taking himself out of the starting lineup for Monday night's game, Brett Butler has gone three for five with four walks and three runs scored.

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