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AROUND THE MAJORS

Pettitte to Rejoin Yankees

June 09, 2002|From Associated Press

Andy Pettitte made it through his latest rehabilitation start with no difficulty and is set to return to the New York Yankees.

"I think I'm ready," Pettitte said Saturday, one day after his outing for double-A Norwich of the Eastern League.

"My command has been good and I was able to get my pitch count up. Is my arm in midseason form yet? Obviously not. But I think it's time to get going."

Pettitte has been sidelined the last seven weeks with tendinitis in his left elbow. He made his fourth rehab start Friday night, yielding one run and two hits in 6 1/3 innings. He threw 82 pitches.

"I threw everything," he said. "My velocity last night was the same in the seventh inning as it was in the first. For me that's a good sign because when you get fatigued you need to hold your velocity. I was letting it go and threw some hard cutters."

Pettitte has experienced elbow problems since his first spring training start March 3. He went 1-1 with a 3.09 earned-run average in three regular-season starts, the last on April 15.

Manager Joe Torre decided to put Pettitte into the rotation Friday night at Shea Stadium against the Mets.

The news isn't as good for another injured Yankee starter. Orlando Hernandez complained of more soreness in his upper back after a throwing session Thursday in Tampa, Fla.

"The good news is the tests show nothing that will be a long-term problem," Torre said. "We just need to get the soreness out."

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Outfielder Manny Ramirez of the Boston Red Sox is scheduled to return to the club Monday and expects to be activated from the disabled list, sooner than originally expected.

Ramirez has been rehabilitating in Florida since breaking his finger May 5 when he slid headfirst into home plate and hit his hand on Seattle catcher Dan Wilson's shinguard. He was supposed to return to Boston on Friday but missed his flight.

Manager Grady Little said the team has received positive reports from the doctors in Florida who have been monitoring Ramirez's recovery.

"Manny's doing good. He'll join us here Monday and stay with us until he can play," Little said. "Hopefully, it won't be too long. We hope he's closer than we've all been thinking."

Little said Ramirez could be back before the team returns from the next road trip.

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The Florida Marlins activated catcher Ramon Castro from the 15-day disabled list one day after sending infielder Marty Malloy to triple-A Calgary of the Pacific Coast League. Castro, who went on the disabled list May 16 because of a strained muscle in his right elbow, returns to back up Charles Johnson and Mike Redmond.

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