Ankiel to skip next start due to elbow pain

Wednesday, March 6, 2002


VERO BEACH, Fla. -- Rick Ankiel's spring training comeback is on temporary hold due to elbow pain that will force the St. Louis Cardinals left-hander to skip a start.

Ankiel, 22, allowed six runs in two innings in his first start on Sunday, giving up a grand slam to Lee Stevens. The team said the next day, Ankiel mentioned his elbow was bothering him.

Pitching coach Dave Duncan described the injury as tightness.

"The doctors don't think it's anything serious," Duncan said. "I didn't know anything about it until the next day."

Instead of starting Friday against the Minnesota Twins, Ankiel will throw in the bullpen if the elbow allows. He's scheduled to make his second spring start next week.

Ankiel has struggled with his control since the 2000 playoffs, when he threw nine wild pitches in four innings. Last season he ended up in rookie ball.

In his first spring start, Ankiel walked the first two batters on nine pitches. He allowed five runs on six hits, but finished strong.

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