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Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Mets' Pelfrey diagnosed with tendinitis


Posted by ESPN's Claire Smith

NEW YORK -- Mike Pelfrey may miss a start Sunday after being diagnosed with tendinitis in his right forearm.

"We have to take our time with him and make sure we do the right thing by him," Mets manager Jerry Manuel said. "We'll do a whole thorough thing with him to see if it's worth him missing a start or not."

The tendinitis was discovered after Pelfrey underwent an MRI. Monday, Manuel expressed concern about the righthander after Pelfrey's pitches appeared to lack life in a five-inning, five-run start against the San Diego Padres at Citi Field.

"The good news is that there really wasn't anything structural," said Manuel.

Manuel on using Sheffield
Manuel had yet to hand in the first official lineup card listing Gary Sheffield in right field, yet he spent part of the afternoon explaining just what situations would lead him to remove the former Tigers designated hitter from games for defensive purposes.

Manuel, striking a serious note, said that it would certainly depend on game situations. Then, laughing, he said, "if it's 4-4 and he's driven in all four runs, he'll be in there."

LeFebvre grateful to Robinson
Padres hitting instructor Jim LeFebvre is one of the many second basemen to play the position for the Dodgers since Jackie Robinson. He may be one of the few who can claim to owe the Hall of Famer a heartfelt thank you for a personal gesture long gone by.

"I was a rookie in 1965 and I committed an error to cost us a game -- Koufax versus Tug McGraw, here at Shea Stadium," said LeFebvre. "It cost us the game and I felt terrible. I went back to the hotel as down as I could be and had a restless night.

"Then, at 10 in the morning, the phone rang. It was Jackie Robinson. I'd never met the man, but he wanted to call and tell me to hang in there. 'You're in the major leagues, you're a Dodger, you have the talent to be here, you're a good player,'" he said. "He told me he enjoyed watching me play, and not to get my head down.

"That was it. I never got to meet him, and never spoke with him again. But, boy, what class. I went to the ballpark with a little different attitude the next day. I never forgot what he did that day."

Claire Smith is a news editor at ESPN. She covered baseball for 27 years at the Hartford Courant, the New York Times and the Philadelphia Inquirer.