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MLB notes: Matheny to undergo back surgery
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny planned to leave the team after Sunday's spring training game and return to St. Louis for surgery to repair a ruptured disk in his lower back.

Matheny expects to be back at spring training for Thursday's game against Atlanta in Jupiter.

"There is still a fragment that is stuck in a spot where it's getting to the nerve and affecting what is going on back there," Matheny said prior to Sunday's game against the New York Mets.

The 42-year-old Matheny, who replaced Tony La Russa as manager after the 2011 season, said early in spring training that the injury probably traces back to his days as a big league catcher from 1994-2006.

Bench coach Mike Aldrete will manage the team in Matheny's absence.

Junior speaks

Ken Griffey Jr. says he "was not shocked" when baseball writers decided no player should go into the Hall of Fame this year, although he thinks Craig Biggio got a raw deal.

Without specifically mentioning performance-enhancing drugs, Griffey said that "sometimes a statement needs to be made." Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa were eligible for the Hall of Fame for the first time this year, and neither came close to election.

Griffey, who never has been linked to drug use although he played in the same era, is eligible for the Hall in 2015. While some would consider him a first-ballot lock, Griffey said he doesn't worry about things he can't control.

Griffey was in Phoenix to promote fan balloting for the All-World Baseball Classic team.

Around the horn

Athletics • Lefty Brett Anderson, scheduled to start on opening day for Oakland, strained a muscle in his upper right back and left Sunday's outing against Arizona after facing just two batters.

Indians • Manager Terry Francona ended some of the drama about his starting rotation by picking right-hander Zach McAllister to be the club's No. 4 starter, leaving just one opening for Cleveland to fill before the end of spring training.

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