Phillies' Jordan hit in jaw by liner, will miss 6 weeks National League notes


Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ricky Jordan suffered a broken jaw yesterday when struck by a line drive during fielding practice. He will be out of action for about six weeks.

Jordan was fielding ground balls near first base when Ruben Amaro hit a drive that struck the left side of Jordan's face, breaking his jaw in two places.

Jordan was taken to Morton Plant Hospital in Clearwater, Fla., where his jaw was wired shut. He will be on the disabled list when the season opens and isn't expected back until at least April 22.

The accident occurred during a morning workout at Jack Russell Memorial Stadium in Clearwater.

Jordan, who throws right-handed, had fielded a grounder and turned to throw to second when the line drive from Amaro, who was batting left-handed, hit Jordan. A screen was in place at first base for protection, but Jordan had stepped away from it to field the ball.

* CUBS: Reports of any disagreements between new manager Jim Lefebvre and All-Star second baseman Ryne Sandberg have been grossly exaggerated, according to the manager.

A story circulated through the daily prints last month that Sandberg, involved in contractual negotiations at the time, was surprised that Lefebvre hadn't bothered to call him after Lefebvre had announced he planned to speak with all the players after the first of the year.

"A problem with that guy, are you kidding?" Lefebvre said. "You're talking about the most professional attitude and work ethic I've ever been around."

* METS: When the club decided during the off-season to put Howard Johnson in center field, it did so with a disclaimer attached, a sort of prenuptial agreement. Should the club or Johnson become uncomfortable with the arrangement, either party reserved the right to terminate it.

But after only four spring games at the position, Johnson has declared that he is married to the move, for better or for worse.

"It's not an experiment anymore," he said. "It's done. I would have admitted if I had problems and I think [manager] Jeff [Torborg] would have, too. But he told me I look comfortable and natural out there. Some guys don't look right out there. He said I do."

* PIRATES: An examination of Andy Van Slyke showed he won't need surgery for the degenerative disks in his lower back.

Van Slyke was examined in Pittsburgh by club orthopedist Dr. Jack Failla and underwent a series of tests, which uncovered three degenerative disks but no ruptured disks.

He will be able to play with the condition, although Failla advised the club that Van Slyke, 30, will need an occasional day off.

Meanwhile, Lloyd McClendon will be out at least one more week with a separated left shoulder.

* DODGERS: Team doctors said tests on outfielder Eric Davis showed no muscular or internal problems. His knees and shoulder are in good shape, and kidney tests showed no lingering effects from his 1990 injury, which bothered him last season.

* PADRES: Right-hander Andy Benes received a $100,000 raise when the club tore up his contract and signed him to a new one-year deal worth $475,000.

General manager Joe McIlvaine renewed Benes' contract at $375,000 last week, prompting accusations from Benes that the club was treating him unfairly.

* BRAVES: First baseman Brian Hunter, outfielder Keith Mitchell and pitcher Mark Wohlers, all of whom are included in the speculation surrounding a possible deal for Pirates outfielder Barry Bonds, said they wouldn't be disappointed if they had to leave Atlanta because it would give them a chance to play more regularly.

I= * REDS: Outfielder Paul O'Neill is 5-for-13 with six RBI.

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