Juan Gonzalez Placed on DL

Thursday, April 11th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) _ Juan Gonzalez was placed on the 15-day disabled list Thursday with a torn muscle in his right hand.

Gonzalez was injured when he was jammed on a swing in Oakland a week ago. He played the next two games but _ following a two-day break because of a rainout and a scheduled day off _ pulled himself out of Tuesday night's game against the A's after his first at-bat.

An X-ray Tuesday night found nothing. But Gonzalez had an MRI and saw a hand specialist Wednesday, and the tear was found in fiber between his thumb and index finger.

``It's swollen right in the muscle, almost like a little pulled hamstring,'' Texas Rangers general manager John Hart said. ``We felt it would be the right thing to do to put him on the disabled list.''

Gonzalez twice walked by a group of reporters surrounding his locker without stopping to talk before Thursday's game against Oakland.

It is the eighth time in his career that Gonzalez, a two-time AL MVP, has been on the disabled list.

The move is retroactive to Tuesday. The Rangers recalled infielder Mike Lamb from Triple-A Oklahoma to fill his spot on the roster.

Gonzalez, the Rangers' cleanup hitter, joins No. 1 starter Chan Ho Park (right hamstring) and closer Jeff Zimmerman (tendinitis right elbow) on the disabled list.

Gonzalez signed a $24 million, two-year contract during the offseason to return to Texas, where he played from 1989 to 1999. He was traded to Detroit after the 1999 season, and he spent one year with the Tigers before moving on the Cleveland for one season.

Through seven games in his return to Texas, Gonzalez is hitting .250 (6-for-24) with no homers and no RBIs.