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NLCS REPORT

Teams Tend to Injuries

October 11, 2006|Tim Brown | Times Staff Writer

NEW YORK — The New York Mets are down Pedro Martinez and Orlando Hernandez, the St. Louis Cardinals are short Mark Mulder and Jason Isringhausen, and a handful of others entering the National League Championship Series are endeavoring to simply stay upright and productive.

Cardinals third baseman Scott Rolen took a cortisone injection in his left shoulder late Sunday night after sitting out Game 4 of the National League Division Series. The Cardinals clinched, affording Rolen another day off, and he is expected to play tonight in Game 1.

"I know the report is that he came through the workout well," Cardinals Manager Tony La Russa said.

Center fielder Jim Edmonds takes frequent injections into the ball of his left foot, temporarily relieving chronic pain. He too is expected to play.

Rolen and Edmonds are especially important if Albert Pujols expects to see any pitches to hit. La Russa's alternative in the cleanup spot is Preston Wilson.

Rolen batted .227 in September and was one for 11 in the NLDS, then came clean about the pain in his shoulder, which required surgery a year ago. He admitted during Tuesday's workout day at Shea Stadium to continuing fatigue.

"I'd like to aspire to be better than a .200 hitter from time to time," he said. "My ultimate goal in September was to be out on the field. That's what I did."

A decision regarding Mets left fielder Cliff Floyd's inclusion on the roster probably will come just before this morning's deadline for submitting rosters. He aggravated his strained left Achilles' tendon against the Dodgers on Saturday, walked in a special boot for two days, and went through batting practice and a series of drills Tuesday.

"It's not great," he said. "But it hasn't been great for a while. I'm a little frustrated."

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Edmonds could be playing his final games for the Cardinals, who hold a $10-million option for 2007. Edmonds, 36, was traded from the Angels to St. Louis in March 2000 for pitcher Kent Bottenfield and second baseman Adam Kennedy.

Seven seasons later, Edmonds would not divulge his potential interest in returning to the Angels, who could be in the market for an outfielder, saying, "I have no comment on that right now."

After a few seconds, he looked over his shoulder and added, "I'll play anywhere where I'm wanted."

Injuries -- the most recent being the sore left foot and a bout with post-concussion syndrome -- limited Edmonds to 110 games and resulted in his worst year since an injury-shortened 1999. He sat out nearly six weeks until returning in late September, then was four for 13 against the Padres in the NLDS.

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Manny Acta, the Mets third base coach who interviewed last winter with Ned Colletti to become the Dodgers manager, is again drawing interest from teams with managerial vacancies. According to a baseball source, Washington and Texas have called the Mets regarding Acta, and San Francisco also is believed to have interest.

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tim.brown@latimes.com

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