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ANGEL REPORT

Wrist Injury Sends Guillen Home

September 05, 2004|Mike DiGiovanna | Times Staff Writer

CLEVELAND — Diagnostic tests on Jose Guillen's swollen right wrist were still pending Saturday, but the Angels deemed the injury serious enough to fly the left fielder back to Southern California on Saturday night so he can be examined today by Craig Milhouse, team physician.

Guillen, batting .299 with 26 home runs and 101 runs batted in, was pulled in the seventh inning of Friday night's game, after which Manager Mike Scioscia said the No. 5 hitter was experiencing symptoms consistent with carpal tunnel syndrome.

Guillen's wrist has been sore for about two weeks, "but right now, it's at a point where it's starting to impact his swing," Scioscia said. "This is the first time it's gotten to a point where he couldn't play with it."

Guillen is not the type to let a minor injury slow him down. He hit .455 in the American League division series for Oakland last season despite playing the five games with a fractured bone in his left wrist and has missed only five games this season despite a variety of injuries.

So, the fact he would return home and miss today's series finale against the Indians could be an indication the injury is more serious, a development that would deal a severe blow to the Angels' pennant hopes.

"We have a window with an off-day Monday to see how he's doing, and we're hoping that after a couple of days he will feel better," Scioscia said. "We're not ruling out the possibility of him playing Tuesday night."

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Third-base prospect Dallas McPherson and reliever Matt Hensley are expected to be among the players who join the Angels on Tuesday after triple-A Salt Lake completes its season Monday.

Scioscia also said that McPherson, who has combined for 40 home runs and 126 runs batted in at Salt Lake and double-A Arkansas this season, will play for Escogido of the Dominican Winter League beginning in December, a move the Angels hope will push the slugger one step closer to the big leagues.

"The Dominican league is closer to the major leagues than anything he's experienced," Scioscia said of McPherson. "A lot of major leaguers play there in an environment where there is really pressure to win, which is part of your development.

"You can't compare it to the Arizona Fall League or instructional league. When you go to winter ball, there's a premium on winning, and if you're not playing well, changes are made. It's important to play winter ball, because you really have to get after it."

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Unlike Ramon Ortiz, who repeatedly asked to be traded after being bumped from the rotation this season, pitcher Aaron Sele took his temporary demotion to the bullpen this week in stride.

Scioscia will use Monday's off day to skip Sele's rotation spot. Sele, who was rocked for seven runs and 10 hits in 3 1/3 innings in Wednesday night's 12-7 loss to Boston, will start Saturday against the Chicago White Sox.

"It's Mike's decision," said Sele, who will throw three bullpen sessions between starts. "Whatever's best for the team, whatever gets us into the playoffs, I'll do."

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