Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Torre's Frustration Could Be Relieved by Perez's Return

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Torre's Frustration Could Be Relieved by Perez's Return

Article excerpt

Much has been said about the loss of righthanded reliever Mike Perez, who rejoined the Cardinals on Saturday after a rehabilitation assignment with Class AA Arkansas.

Perez has been out since July 4 because of inflammation in his pitching shoulder. He will be activated Sunday.

But Perez's absence should be considered in concert with the loss of righthander Les Lancaster and lefthander Paul Kilgus at about the same time.

Lancaster went on the disabled list July 7 because of a sore right elbow, which required surgery. Kilgus has been out since June 23 because of a broken foot.

Dating from Lancaster's disablement (he was the last to go on the DL) until before Saturday night's game, Cardinals relievers had given up 118 hits and 59 earned runs in 91 innings for an earned-run average of 5.83. That excludes first baseman Rod Brewer's five-run, one-inning performance.

"We just haven't been consistent as we're used to being out of the bullpen," manager Joe Torre said, in a bit of understatement. "You look back and evaluate it when the season's over. You don't want to believe the season's over yet. You don't want to start making excuses."

But, Torre said, "We'll have a good outing and the next day the same cast of characters doesn't work. That's the uneasiness of it, the frustration."

Perez has a 2.28 ERA and has appeared in 43 games despite missing a month. Lancaster has a 2.98 ERA in 39 games and Kilgus an 0.00 ERA in eight games.

Perez will be back next year, Lancaster might be and Kilgus almost surely will be although he was cut during spring training.

"Let's face it," Torre said. "We just ignored him in spring training. He had a good spring and we ignored him. Then the first guy we brought up was (Tom) Urbani even though Kilgus was doing better at Louisville."

Ray Lankford batted second Saturday night for the first time this season and Tim Jones started his first game at shortstop since last year. …

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