Indians Put Diaz On 15-Day Disabled List

CLEVELAND (AP) - Indians catcher Einar Diaz, injured when he got stepped on by Oakland's David Justice in a play at the plate, was placed on the 15-day disabled list Friday.

The club recalled catcher Josh Bard from Triple-A Buffalo to replace him.

Diaz got hurt in the second inning of Thursday night's 9-3 loss to the Athletics when he tried to tag Justice, who accidentally stepped on the catcher's right hand, sending Diaz sprawling as he ran across the plate.

Diaz has a strained right elbow and strained triceps, the team said. He also had three spike marks on his hand.

This is the first time on the DL for Diaz, batting .206 with two homers and 16 RBIs in 102 games.

The 24-year-old Bard was acquired last season in a trade with Colorado. He had an impressive spring training with the Indians, and nearly made the club's 25-man roster when backup catcher Eddie Taubensee went down with a season-ending back injury.

But the Indians signed Eddie Perez instead, and sent Bard to the minors to refine his game. The switch-hitter was batting .297 with six homers and 53 RBIs in 94 games for the Bisons.

To make room for Bard on their 40-man roster, the Indians transferred second baseman Ricky Gutierrez from the 15- to 60-day disabled list. Gutierrez is out for the season with a neck injury.

Diaz is the eighth Cleveland player currently on the DL.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)