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Mets' Leiter Gets Hit in Head by Line Drive

AROUND THE MAJORS

April 04, 2004|From Associated Press

Left-hander Al Leiter of the New York Mets was hit in the head by a line drive Saturday and might have to skip his first start of the season.

Leiter grabbed the side of his face after getting hit by Alex Gonzalez's liner in the second inning of the Mets' 21-13 exhibition victory over the Florida Marlins in Jupiter, Fla.

He fell on the mound, but never lost consciousness. After being treated by trainers, he stood up on his own and walked to a nearby golf cart that took him to the clubhouse.

Leiter, 38, was taken to Jupiter Medical Center for a CT scan and X-rays, which were negative. He was scheduled to return to the team's spring training complex in Port St. Lucie to be examined by assistant team physician Joe Bosco.

"I'll be fine. I've got a little headache and a little bruise," Leiter said. "I saw it and I thought I had it. It was knuckling a little bit and I missed it."

Leiter said he didn't know if he would start Thursday night in Atlanta. "If it's still really sore I won't push it," he said.

"Hopefully, everything is going to be fine," Manager Art Howe said. "He just got a little piece of it with his glove. We're just very fortunate it didn't hit him in the eye or break his nose."

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The Colorado Rockies put right fielder Larry Walker, who has a strained left groin, on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to March 26.

Walker has been sidelined most of the spring with the injury, which occurred early in spring training and was aggravated on a checked swing during an exhibition game.

A three-time National League batting champion and the league's MVP in 1997, Walker batted .284 with 16 homers and 79 RBIs last season.

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The St. Louis Cardinals acquired outfielder Roger Cedeno from the Mets for backup catcher Chris Widger and infielder Wilson Delgado.

Cedeno is entering the third year of a four-year, $18-million contract he signed in December 2001. The Cardinals also get cash considerations.

Widger and Delgado are expected to start the season in the minors, although Widger could refuse the assignment and ask for his release.

Cedeno is expected to join the Cardinals today. The 29-year-old switch-hitter is a .275 career hitter with 37 home runs, 243 RBIs and 208 stolen bases. He has also played for the Dodgers (1995 to '98), Houston (2000) and Detroit (2001).

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Casey Daigle will make the jump from double-A to the Arizona Diamondbacks' rotation, and Shane Reynolds will begin the season in the bullpen.

Daigle will be the No. 4 starter behind Randy Johnson, Brandon Webb and Elmer Dessens, Manager Bob Brenly said. Steve Sparks will be No. 5.

Daigle, who turns 23 today, was 2-1 with a 3.73 earned-run average in six appearances this spring. Sparks was 1-2 with a 2.84 ERA in five appearances. Reynolds, who will be used as a long reliever, was 1-4 with a 14.04 ERA.

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Brian Anderson will start the season opener for the Kansas City Royals Monday against the Chicago White Sox.

The Royals could become the first team in major league history to start four left-handers in their first four games, with Darrell May, Jeremy Affeldt and Jimmy Gobble following Anderson.

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