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Knoblauch May Debut Thursday

March 22, 2001

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) _ Chuck Knoblauch’s much-anticipated left field debut might come Thursday.

Knoblauch worked out for the second straight day with New York Yankees outfield coach Lee Mazzilli. The session took place at the Yankees minor league complex after Knoblauch went 2-for-5 as the designated hitter in a Triple-A game.

``His day was a great day,″ Mazzilli said. ``I know he’s ahead of what I anticipated. My biggest problem, again like I said, is trying to slow him down. He wants to do more, which is a good sign.″

Manager Joe Torre said Knoblauch is scheduled to work out Thursday at the minor league complex and could play a minor league game later in the day.

``If he plays, it wouldn’t surprise me,″ Torre said. ``We could run him out for an inning or two. That is possible. The practices have been good.″

If Knoblauch doesn’t play Thursday, he will play Friday either in a minor league game or against the Texas Rangers in Port Charlotte.

Knoblauch, who said things are going ``good,″ has made one outfield appearance in his major league career. Knoblauch has made five throwing errors this spring at second base, prompting the move.

``His confidence is going up,″ Mazzilli said. ``He feels good about the switch right now.″

Knoblauch made 15 errors, mostly on throws, last season. He also spent time on the disabled list with a strained right elbow.

Yankees left field Shane Spencer (right knee) has been cleared to resume hitting off a tee and shagging flies, but general manager Brian Cashman said the outfielder would likely start the regular season on the DL.

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