Archive for Saturday, September 23, 2000

Yankees might use Cone in bullpen

September 23, 2000

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— David Cone appears likely to make another start Monday and could wind up in the New York Yankees' postseason bullpen.

Cone, 0-2 since dislocating his left shoulder, threw in the bullpen before Friday night's game against Detroit.

"I want to try to keep hope alive that I can still help this team, somehow," he said.

Cone's next scheduled start is Monday against the Tigers the Yankees' final scheduled home game of the regular season. Given that Cone (4-13) is eligible for free agency and his future is uncertain, it could be the final start in pinstripes at Yankee Stadium for the 37-year-old right-hander.

"We're going to talk tomorrow," Yankees manager Joe Torre said after watching Cone throw. "At times he threw a little tentative and he admitted every few times it would grab him."

New York figures to use Roger Clemens (13-7), Andy Pettitte (18-8), Orlando Hernandez (12-12) and Denny Neagle (7-5) as its starters in the playoffs. Torre said he wouldn't hesitate to use Cone as a right-handed long reliever out of the bullpen.

"We certainly would like to have him if we get to the postseason," Torre said.

New York, which entered Friday with seven losses in eight games, is just 9-19 in Cone's starts this year. He wouldn't mind a relief role.

"Sure, I'll do anything, anything they want at this point," he said.

Against Toronto on Wednesday, he allowed seven runs and six hits in 32/3 innings. In his first start after injuring his shoulder Aug. 30 at Kansas City, he allowed six runs, eight hits and four walks in 52/3 innings against Cleveland a potential postseason opponent.

Torre said it's hard to judge Cone's condition. The pitcher's velocity has dropped since the injury.

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