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Rijo sets comeback date July 22 in Florida

The Associated Press

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic – Former Cincinnati Reds pitcher Jose Rijo, who is attempting a comeback after five years, wants to return to the major leagues later this month.

Thursday, July 12, 2001

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic – Former Cincinnati Reds pitcher Jose Rijo, who is attempting a comeback after five years, wants to return to the major leagues later this month.

”I’m going to ask the Cincinnati Reds to promote me in time to pitch the 22nd, to play in Miami against the Florida Marlins,” Rijo was quoted as saying in a story published Wednesday by Hoy, a daily newspaper in Santo Domingo. He was interviewed by telephone from his home in Miami.

Rijo allowed no runs and one hit in three innings Monday night for the Reds’ Class Double-A team in Chattanooga. Earlier this month, he was clocked pitching 90 mph fastballs while playing for the Cincinnati’s Class A team in Dayton.

Rijo, 111-87 in his 12 major league seasons, is scheduled to pitch for Class Triple-A Louisville on Saturday.

”I think the miracle is about to be fulfilled, I’m almost sure that I will pitch in the majors,” Rijo was quoted as saying. He also told the newspaper that he planned to meet with the Reds’ management team this weekend to discuss his future in the organization.

Rijo, 36, has been out of baseball since having elbow surgery five years ago. The Most Valuable Player of the Reds’ 1990 World Series sweep of the Oakland Athletics has undergone four major elbow operations.

He hasn’t pitched in a big league game since July 18, 1995. Rijo spent the last three years building and running a baseball academy in his native Dominican Republic.