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Rolen may be sidelined six weeks

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Associated Press / March 28, 2008

Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Scott Rolen said yesterday his broken right middle finger could sideline him for six weeks.

Acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals in an offseason trade, Rolen was injured when he was hit on the hand by a ball during a fielding drill Sunday on a back field at Dunedin, Fla. A screw was inserted in his finger during surgery Monday.

"The doctor gave a 4-6-week window from the time of surgery," said Rolen, whose team beat the Houston Astros, 8-3, in an exhibition game yesterday.

Closer B.J. Ryan (left elbow) will face minor leaguers Sunday.

Capuano to rehab

Less than a week after being told he probably would need surgery on his ailing pitching elbow, Milwaukee Brewers lefthander Chris Capuano has decided to try rehabilitation that would allow him to play this season. The Brewers placed Capuano on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to March 21. He will try rehabbing his left elbow for 3-4 weeks. The decision came after Capuano visited with Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., Wednesday and underwent a second MRI. Andrews performed Capuano's elbow ligament replacement surgery in 2002, when he was pitching in Arizona's farm system. Capuano, 29, was told Sunday that he has a torn ligament in his pitching elbow and would probably need Tommy John surgery for the second time in his career . . . Atlanta Braves righthander John Smoltz threw in the bullpen at Kissimmee, Fla., for about 20 minutes and called the session his "best day" of the spring. Smoltz said he is on track to make his first regular-season start April 6 and had no recurrence of the shoulder stiffness he suffered last Friday, forcing him to be held out of a scheduled start. . . . Yankees lefthander Andy Pettitte is scheduled to pitch in a minor league game Sunday. Pettitte, originally slated to start the Yankees' second game of the regular season next Wednesday, has been slowed by back spasms. If all goes well, he likely will make his first start of the season next Friday or Saturday . . . Derek Jeter homered but the Yankees lost, 5-2, to the Pittsburgh Pirates at Tampa following ceremonies in which Legends Field was renamed for owner George M. Steinbrenner.

Prior faces hitters

Mark Prior said he felt strong after facing live hitters for the first time in a year. The San Diego Padres righthander, who had shoulder surgery last April while with the Chicago Cubs, threw 25 pitches during an eight-minute session at Peoria, Ariz. Prior will start the season on the 60-day disabled list and is expected to be ready to pitch in the big leagues around June 1 . . . Outfielder Elijah Dukes missed the Washington Nationals' game at Viera, Fla., because he had to deal with some non-baseball matters that the team did not specify. The Nationals acquired Dukes from Tampa Bay in the offseason for a minor league pitcher. He had various arrests and suspensions during his time with the Rays . . . Carlos Peña hit one of the Rays' three home runs as they beat Cleveland, 9-7, in 10 innings in the Indians' final game at Winter Haven, Fla. After 16 springs in the former Florida base of the Red Sox, the Indians will move their camp to a new $76 million complex in Goodyear, Ariz., in 2009 . . . Before the game, the Indians optioned outfielder Ben Francisco to Triple A Buffalo, giving infielder Andy Marte the final spot on their 25-man roster . . . Kansas City Royals lefthander Mike Maroth was assigned to the minor league camp after giving up five runs and six hits in three innings in an 8-5 loss to the Texas Rangers at Surprise, Ariz. . . . The suspension of Royals catcher Miguel Olivo for a fight last season was reduced from five to four games . . . The Seattle Mariners assigned catcher Wei Wang to Single A High Desert, making him the first player from China on a minor league roster.

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