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AL NOTEBOOK

Yankees' Wright Is Headed Back to DL

Sunday, April 24, 2005; Page E08

Less than a month into his first season in New York, Jaret Wright is headed to the disabled list for the eighth time in his career, Yankees GM Brian Cashman said yesterday.

The oft-injured pitcher left yesterday's game in the sixth inning because of pain in his right shoulder with the Yankees trailing Texas 6-1.


Jaret Wright, left, with trainer Steve Donohue, leaves with shoulder pain. (Bill Kostroun -- AP)

"Pitchers are very fragile," Yankees Manager Joe Torre said.

"After what I've been through, it's not where I want to be," Wright said of going on the DL.

Wright (2-2), lured from Atlanta as a free agent by a three-year, $21 million contract, started the day with a 10.05 ERA and again struggled. He tied career highs by yielding three home runs and 11 hits, and was trailing 6-1 with one out in the sixth when more serious trouble struck.

After he threw a pitch to Hank Blalock, Wright crouched on the mound, bringing Torre and a trainer from the dugout. There was a brief discussion, and Wright left because of the pain.

"I kind of felt it in the second inning and it gradually got worse," he said. "It got pretty bad in the sixth."

Wright spent time on the disabled list every year from 1999 to 2002.

"It kind of felt like '01," said Wright, who was on the DL twice that season.

Aware of Wright's history, the Yankees wanted to protect their investment in him.

Wright's contract provides for $7 million each season. But if he goes on the DL because of a shoulder injury for a combined 75 days or more in the first two years, the Yankees can opt out of the deal for 2007 and pay a $4 million buyout.

Cashman said Class AAA prospect Chien-Ming Wang will probably start next Saturday against Toronto. In the meantime, reliever Colter Bean will likely be promoted from Columbus.

SNOW DAY: The Detroit Tigers' game against the Minnesota Twins was postponed by snow. The game will be made up tomorrow afternoon.

-- From News Services


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