Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Fractured Elbow Sidelines Pena - Maybe for Season

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Fractured Elbow Sidelines Pena - Maybe for Season

Article excerpt

After pratfall upon pratfall, Geronimo Pena finally had established himself as the Cardinals' second baseman of the moment and probably the future.

"He was having fewer and fewer lapses," manager Joe Torre said.

And Pena was hitting and running. In his last seven games, Pena had been 11 for 23 with three home runs, nine runs batted in and four stolen bases. His last stolen base came in the ninth inning Tuesday, after Pena was winged on the left elbow by a pitch from the Expos' John Wetteland.

Pena ran with one flap down, and his shoulders hunched on the play. "He was hurting so bad he was crying," Montreal's Moises Alou said.

On Wednesday here, doctors found that Pena had a broken left elbow. Tuesday's game probably was his final game of the season.

The switch-hitting infielder was placed on the 15-day disabled list, and infielder Tripp Cromer was recalled from Class AAA Louisville to be here today. Also, lefthanded reliever Rob Murphy was claimed by the New York Yankees on waivers. aRighthander Gary Buckels, who was to have been sent down, was asked to return here from Buffalo, where Louisville is playing. Buckels had been optioned and technically, could not come back for 10 days, but the paperwork hadn't been completed.

So, at the start of Wednesday night's game, the Cardinals operated with 23 players.

Pena apparently has finished his season with 11 homers, 34 runs batted in, nine stolen bases and a .254 average, up from .235 on July 26.

A disappointed Pena was to head back to St. Louis today. "I don't know what's going on," he said.

"I was given a chance to play, and I wanted to take advantage of that. I'd been playing well lately, and I wanted to have a good year."

Torre said Pena had the second-base job for next year, bbut Pena said: "I don't want to think about the job. I want to come back all healed and we'll see how it goes. …

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