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Yankees’ Contreras to Start Sunday

August 20, 2003

NEW YORK (AP) _ Jose Contreras will return to the New York Yankees this weekend and is scheduled to start Sunday’s game against the Baltimore Orioles.

Contreras has been on the 15-day disabled list due to a right shoulder strain since June 7. He had been slated to make another minor league rehabilitation start Thursday, but manager Joe Torre said before Wednesday’s game against Kansas City that Contreras’ rehab outing could be canceled.

New York announced the move during its game against Kansas City. It appears that Contreras’ return could lead the Yankees to option struggling Jeff Weaver to Triple-A Columbus, a move that would give New York greater flexibility in determining its roster for the postseason.

Torre said that if Weaver was sent to the minors, he would tell the pitcher it was for the roster freedom, ``not that he’s being punished.″ Under baseball rules, Weaver could be added to the postseason roster, even if he isn’t in the major leagues on Aug. 31.

``It’s something that would be done in the short-term and would not affect his eligibility,″ Torre said.

Contreras signed a $27 million, three-year with the Yankees after defecting from Cuba last year and is 3-1 with a 4.62 ERA. Weaver is 7-9 with a 5.80 ERA _ he is 2-1 with an 8.61 ERA in August.

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