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Cancer caught early in Phils coach Lopes

CLEARWATER — Phillies first-base coach Davey Lopes has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, and team officials said he is expected to make a full recovery.

The former Brewers manager will have surgery this month at Morton Plant Hospital in Clearwater and is expected to miss six weeks after that.

Lopes' cancer was found after he went through a routine examination with the rest of the coaching staff Feb.  12, two days before pitchers and catchers reported to camp.

Lopes, 62, is entering his second season with the Phillies coaching staff. Jerry Martin, a minor-league outfield and baserunning coach in the organization, will take over temporarily as first-base coach and outfield coordinator.

Pitcher Jamie Moyer's eyes began to redden Monday while he talked about Lopes. Moyer and his wife, Karen, established a foundation in 2000 to support and offer comfort to children with cancer and kids who have lost loved ones to cancer.

"Hopefully, it was caught in time," Moyer said. "While dealing with families and kids with cancer in Seattle and throughout the country, one thing I've learned is early detection is huge, and that sounds like that's the case."

A BLOW TO O's: The extent of Troy Patton's shoulder injury will not be revealed until he receives a detailed examination this week. The resignation in his voice, however, suggested the Orioles left-hander probably won't pitch until 2009.

Patton has had shoulder stiffness since reporting to spring training, and he stopped a sideline session Sunday after 10 pitches. He met with Dr. John Wilckens, the team orthopedist, and was ordered to go to Baltimore for an arthrogram, a procedure in which dye is injected into the shoulder.

An earlier MRI exam proved inconclusive, although all signs are pointing toward a torn labrum. Patton hoped to work through the injury, but now his only options are cortisone shots or season-ending surgery.

"Even if it does end the season, I can bounce back and be effective next year, work my butt off this offseason and come back," he said. "I'm 22 years old; I have a lot of bounce-back ability. I recover quick."

Patton was one of five players the Orioles received in the December trade that sent four-time All-Star shortstop Miguel Tejada to the Astros.

DELMON GREETS MENTOR: The exhibition gave Reds star Ken Griffey and Twins newcomer Delmon Young a chance to catch up.

Griffey was already a star when he joined the Reds in 2000, and Dmitri Young was one of his teammates. Young's teenage brother, Delmon, used to tag along with Griffey.

"He looked like a big-leaguer," Griffey recalled, adding, "He was like a grown man at 14. He was not intimidated by the big leagues at all. He knew what was going on."

The Rays traded Young this winter after his rookie season.

A's: Shortstop Bobby Crosby was dropped from the starting lineup with back spasms. "His upper back spasmed up a little bit while he was taking grounders," manager Bob Geren said. "He's okay. It's no big deal."

BLUE JAYS: Right-hander A.J. Burnett said he doesn't think the broken nail on his right index finger is much of a problem. "I usually don't start throwing curveballs until my fourth or fifth start," he said.

D'BACKS: Right-hander Micah Owings skipped a scheduled start because of a sore shoulder. "Right now I'm just nipping it, so I'll be ready to go here shortly," Owings said.

DODGERS: The team's trip to China next week will be delayed by a day. Scheduled to fly to Beijing on Monday, the team will leave from Orlando the next day because the original charter company contracted by Major League Baseball didn't receive approval to land in China before its deadline.

MARLINS: Left-hander Andrew Miller hit a batter with his first pitch and walked five in his first spring start, throwing 23 of 53 pitches for strikes. Still, he was part of a three-hitter in a 3-2 win over the Red Sox. "I fell into the trap I had a little problem with last year," Miller said. "You get a little wild, and how soon can you get out of it? It took me obviously way too long."

METS: Former All-Star Darryl Strawberry will be a special instructor and will work with major- and minor-leaguers. "He looks great, I might have to suit him up," manager Willie Randolph joked.

NATIONALS: Former Rays outfielder Elijah Dukes hit a solo home run off Cardinals right-hander Mitchell Boggs in the fifth, Dukes' first of the spring.

REDS: Infielder Jerry Hairston, whose name appeared in the Mitchell report on steroids in baseball, signed a minor-league contract. Outfielder Corey Patterson, who played for new manager Dusty Baker with the Cubs, also signed.

TIGERS: Manager Jim Leyland promised that Brandon Inge won't catch for his team anymore, a day after the former starting third baseman complained about his return behind the plate. The club is trying to accommodate Inge's request to be traded.

YANKEES: Broadcaster Bobby Murcer was resting in a Houston hospital after having a brain biopsy. Results weren't expected until later in the week. Murcer had surgery in December 2006, four days after being diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor.

Best bet of the day

Yankees at Blue Jays, 1:05 at Knology Park, Dunedin

Pinellas Park graduate, and former Ray bat boy, Jesse Litsch gets his second start of the spring, taking on the Yankees and touted prospect Phil Hughes.


Blue Jays: Knology Park, 373 Douglas Ave., Dunedin. Game tickets: (727) 733-9302 or

Phillies: Bright House Networks Field, 601 N Old Coachman Road, Clearwater. Game tickets: (727) 467-4457 or

Yankees: Legends Field (1 Steinbrenner Drive in Tampa). Game tickets: (813) 879-2244 or ticket

Cancer caught early in Phils coach Lopes 03/03/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 28, 2010 9:25am]
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