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ANGEL REPORT

Elbow Injury Creates New Setback for Jenks

May 10, 2003|Ben Bolch | Times Staff Writer

Bobby Jenks, one of the Angels' top prospects who was demoted last year for what team officials considered repeated acts of immaturity, has suffered another potential setback in his development after enduring a "stress reaction" in his pitching elbow.

Jenks told the Arkansas-Democrat Gazette on Friday that he expected to be out 15 days and the Angels were concerned enough about the injury to fly the double-A pitcher from Arkansas to Southern California earlier this week to be examined by Dr. Lewis Yocum, the team's medical director.

"He's got a little bit of tenderness, so we've told him to back off," Angel General Manager Bill Stoneman said. "There's no break in the bone or anything like that."

Jenks, 22, is scheduled to fly today to the the Angels' rehabilitation facility in Mesa, Ariz.

The right-hander, who has a 100-mph fastball, had drawn comparisons Curt Schilling coming out of spring training in 2002, but his star has been flickering since then.

Jenks and two other Arkansas pitchers were suspended for seven games each last season after they were caught with beer on the team bus. Jenks was demoted in June to Class-A Rancho Cucamonga, where he spent the remainder of the season.

Jenks disappointed the Angels earlier this year by reporting to spring training overweight. He was 2-1 with a 3.52 earned-run average and 27 strikeouts and 19 walks in 23 innings for Arkansas before suffering the injury.

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Darin Erstad on Friday underwent a second MRI exam on his right hamstring, which confirmed the initial diagnosis of tendinitis and ruled out a ligament tear in his knee.

The center fielder, who resumed running Thursday, said he experienced less swelling after the workout than he had when he last tested the hamstring about two weeks ago, but there is still no timetable for his return.

Angel Manager Mike Scioscia said Erstad and athletic trainer Ned Bergert are devising a workout regimen that enables the player to regain strength and stamina without overexerting himself. Erstad has been out since April 19.

"We're going to see how he progresses and what he can tolerate," Scioscia said. "That will tell us where this thing is and when it's going to heal."

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John Lackey defeated Toronto pitcher Doug Creek in a pregame cow-milking contest behind home plate -- with a little help. Angel reliever Brendan Donnelly, who not-so-subtly sneaked up to pour part of a gallon of milk hidden under his warm-up jacket into Lackey's bucket, was credited with the save.... Left-handed reliever Rich Rodriguez, who was designated for assignment Wednesday when the Angels activated Kevin Appier off the disabled list, has cleared waivers and been sent to triple-A Salt Lake.

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