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Teahen to the 15-day DL
Royals place Teahen on 15-day DL
04/13/2005 11:27 AM ET
By Dick Kaegel / MLB.com
KANSAS CITY -- Third baseman Mark Teahen's rookie season is off to a halting start.
The Royals placed Teahen on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday because of a lower back strain. Infielder Joe McEwing was brought up from Triple-A Omaha to fill his roster spot.
Teahen's first exposure to the Major Leagues lasted just four games plus two innings. He was helped off the field after two innings of Monday's home opener against the Seattle Mariners.
"It's something I've had problems with in the past, mainly the '03 season," he said. "It's a thing I've got to keep on top of, as far as keeping the back strong."
Teahen usually does strengthening exercises to alleviate stress on his back, but was prevented from doing that the last few days when a cold kept him in bed during his off-hours.
"It hurts my mobility and flexibility more than anything else," Teahen said.
McEwing, signed as a free agent late in Spring Training, will be a backup infielder while Tony Graffanino logs most of the time at third base.
McEwing played mostly at third base in Omaha's five games but he's also capable of filling in at shortstop and second base as well as the outfield.
"I wish it wasn't under these circumstances. You hate to see anybody get hurt, especially a good kid like Teahen," McEwing said.
"I'm just coming up to be a part of the puzzle and help this club win."
McEwing, 32, was released by the Mets during Spring Training after four years with them. Last season, he batted .254 in 59 games and appeared at every position except pitcher and catcher.
In 1999, McEwing was the St. Louis Cardinals' regular second baseman and hit .275 in 152 games.
The Royals picked McEwing over another veteran infielder, Denny Hocking, who also is at Omaha. McEwing gives the Royals a bit more range defensively.
After Teahen recovers, it's likely that the Royals will send him to Omaha to get back in playing shape.
"After 15 days, I'd like to do that," manager Tony Pena said. "But I'd like to get there first and see how he has improved."
In Teahen's five games this season, he batted .200 (3-for-15) and had a triple for his first Major League hit.
"It's not how it starts," Teahen said. "It's just a small portion of my career, really. It's better to take care of it now than risk hurting it again."