posted on Jul, 11 2004 @ 04:48 AM
NEW YORK (AP) - Orlando Hernandez probably will return to the New York Yankees sooner than expected.
There is a strong possibility El Duque will start for the Yankees on Sunday against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in place of Mike Mussina, a team official
said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
Mussina still felt some soreness Saturday after pitching on three days rest Tuesday night against the Detroit Tigers. It was Mussina's idea to go on
short rest so he could make two starts before the All-Star game and avoid a long layoff before his first start after the break.
But the move may have backfired. Now Mussina (9-6) might not be able to make that second start, ensuring a lengthy layoff and creating an opportunity
for El Duque.
Hernandez was scratched from his scheduled rehabilitation start Saturday for Triple-A Columbus, and the Yankees made travel plans for him to come to
New York. If he arrives in time and feels ready to pitch, he probably would start Sunday, the official said.