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Stiff back sidelines Valdes
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05/09/2002 01:17 am ET 
Stiff back sidelines Valdes
Woodard or Benoit likely to start Thursday
By Jesse Sanchez / MLB.com

The Rangers have scored just 11 runs in Ismael Valdes' six starts. (John Hayes/AP)
ARLINGTON, Tex. -- Rangers pitcher Ismael Valdes is experiencing stiffness in his lower back and will miss his scheduled start on Thursday against Chicago at The Ballpark in Arlington.

The announcement was made moments after the Rangers were defeated, 5-3, by the White Sox in the second game of the three-game series.

"All I know is that the doctors told him not to pitch tomorrow," Rangers manager Jerry Narron said. "I found out at game time that he can't throw tomorrow."

Reliever Steve Woodard and Triple-A pitcher Joaquin Benoit are the top candidates to start in Valdes' absence, but the Rangers will make an official announcement on Thursday morning.

"I'm not leaning either way right now," Narron said. "If we have a game tomorrow, we will have a starter."

Before Thursday's game, Valdes was consulted by a group that included Dr. John Conway, spine specialist Dr. Drew Dossett and trainer Danny Wheat. They all agreed that Valdes should not pitch on Thursday.

"We don't want him to go out there and hurt it," Conway said. "Ismael wants to pitch. We just decided that it's best that he doesn't."

Valdes (2-4) gave up seven hits and three runs in 7 2/3 innings for a loss in Cleveland in his last outing. The Rangers have scored 11 runs in his six starts this season.

He was unavailable for comment after the game.

Roster moves

The Rangers made a number of roster moves on Wednesday. They placed outfielder Carl Everett on the 15-day DL due to a pulled right calf, optioned pitcher Rob Bell to Triple-A Oklahoma City, and recalled pitcher Francisco Cordero and outfielder Kevin Mench from Oklahoma City.

Mench hit .258 with one home run and seven RBIs in 11 games with the Rangers in his previous stint. This marks the third time this season that Cordero has been called up from the minors. He has appeared in 60 games during three seasons with Texas since being acquired from Detroit in 1999.

All-Star ballot "Hopefully he'll get a chance to pitch and if not, he'll go back to Triple-A and pitch," Narron said. "That's just part of baseball."

Cordero gave up one hit in two scoreless innings on Wednesday.

Powell to pitch

Right-handed reliever Jay Powell is scheduled to pitch in a simulated game on May 18 and hopes to be activated from the disabled list on May 31.

Powell, who is on the 60-day DL with a flexor tendon injury in his right middle finger, is scheduled to throw 20 pitches off the mound on Friday.

Farm honors

The Texas Rangers Minor League Player of the Month for April is Oklahoma City outfielder Ryan Ludwick. Ludwick hit .305 with six home runs and 20 RBIs in 25 games. The Pitcher of the Month for April is Double-A pitcher Travis Hughes. Hughes went 3-1 with a 1.74 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 31 innings.

Briefly

Doug Davis' five-inning outing Wednesday was his shortest of the season. He has not completed six innings in his last three starts and has raised his ERA from 1.88 to 4.11 in his last four starts. ... When Bill Haselman threw out Magglio Ordonez attempting to steal third base in the fourth inning, it marked the second base runner he has caught stealing this season. Opponents have been successful in 18 of 20 attempts against Haselman this season. ... Outfielder Bret Cadiente has been promoted from Tulsa to Oklahoma. ... The Korean Society of Dallas is selling a special block of Corner Box tickets for Sunday's game against Detroit. Pitcher Chan Ho Park is scheduled to make his first start since April 1 on that day. For ticket information, call Jay Kim of the Korean Society of Dallas at (469) 688-6678.

Upcoming probables

Thursday vs. Chicago (2:05 CT) - Todd Ritchie, White Sox (3-2, 3.02) vs. Undecided.
Friday vs. Detroit (7:05 CT) - Jeff Weaver, Tigers (2-4, 3.47) vs. Kenny Rogers (3-1, 3.07)
Saturday vs. Detroit (7:05 CT) - Steve Sparks, Tigers (2-3, 3.06) vs. Dave Burba (2-0, 5.22)
Sunday vs. Detroit (7:05 CT) - Seth Greisinger, Tigers (1-0, 3.38) vs. Chan Ho Park (0-1, 10.80)

Jesse Sanchez covers the Texas Rangers for MLB.com. He can be contacted via email at jsanchez@texasrangers.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.



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