Rangers catcher Ivan Rodriguez has herniated disc in back
Saturday, April 20th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6
SEATTLE (AP) _ Texas Rangers catcher Ivan Rodriguez has a herniated disc in his lower back and will miss 4-to-6 weeks.
Rodriguez, who did not make the team's trip to Seattle, had an MRI test Friday in Arlington, Texas, and the results were announced Saturday.
The Rangers will place him on the 15-day disabled list once they return home. The move likely will happen Monday or Tuesday, the team said.
Rodriguez was out of the lineup for the fifth straight game Saturday and remained in Arlington to undergo treatment. He was scratched from the lineup April 15 because of lower back pain.
Backup Bill Haselman is catching in Rodriguez's place. Rodriguez is hitting .222 (10-for-45) in 12 games this season.
``It hurts,'' first baseman Rafael Palmeiro said. ``He is one of the best players in the game. We've got Haselman who can step in, but we're going to miss Pudge.''
His is the latest in a rash of injuries to the Rangers.
``It's terrible for them and pretty good for us,'' Seattle center fielder Mike Cameron said of Rodriguez being hurt.
Besides Rodriguez, the Rangers also have placed outfielder Juan Gonzalez and No. 1 starter Chan Ho Park on the disabled list.
Closer Jeff Zimmerman and reliever Jay Powell are also out with injuries.
Manager Jerry Narron said he has never seen so many injuries to key players at the same time. He said Powell and Zimmerman might not return until June 1.
Narron is confident Rodriguez will come back strong, and perhaps sooner than estimated.
``If anybody can be ready in that length of time or before it would be Pudge,'' Narron said. ``He's already rehabbing.''
At catcher, Rodriguez's back takes a beating, Seattle manager Lou Piniella said.
``It's a shame,'' Piniella said. ``He's young and strong but he plays a very demanding position _ up and down squatting and backing up the bases and throwing. You could hide that a little more at first base.''