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Injured Edmonds can help in other ways

Injured Edmonds can help in other ways

PHILADELPHIA -- You couldn't blame Jim Edmonds for being a little dejected on Wednesday.

Edmonds has 230 at-bats in 64 postseason games, but will not be able to put that experience to action for the Reds during the National League Division Series. The 40-year-old outfielder is not on the active roster after all efforts to get his sore right Achilles tendon ready were unsuccessful. That included a cortisone shot last week and a lidocaine injection on Tuesday.

"We tried everything we can but it just keeps getting worse," Edmonds said before Wednesday's game. "I've been poked and prodded and I feel like a science experiment. I did everything I could and it didn't react real well [Tuesday] to numbing it. Today, I can barely walk. It's very unfortunate. It's a great position to be in and I just want to be a part of it."

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The Achilles injury has bothered Edmonds the whole season, and he hasn't played since seriously aggravating it on Sept. 21 rounding the bases on a home run at Milwaukee. Had he been able to play in the NLDS, he would have been a pinch-hitter only.

Taking Edmonds' place on the 25-man roster is rookie Juan Francisco, who has only 73 big league at-bats on his resume. Francisco, 23, is an aggressive swinger, which can serve him well as a late-inning pinch-hitter but he's not very selective, which could pose a problem.

"You want him to swing at strikes, too," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "That's one area he needs to work on without us taking away his aggressiveness. You figure that will come with time."

Edmonds -- who is eligible to be added to the NL Championship Series and the World Series roster, should the Reds advance that far -- will be in uniform in the Reds' dugout during the NLDS, and his experience will still be of use to a relatively youthful 25-man roster.

"We want him around no matter what," Baker said. "He's been here before. He picks up things that some of the other guys don't pick up -- sequence of pitches, patterns, even guys tipping pitches, or if a guy is playing too deep."

It remains to be seen if Edmonds can play if the Reds advance to the NL Championship Series. He is also contemplating retirement, but that's on hold for now.

"I know this team is good enough to play, obviously, without me," Edmonds said. "I'd like to be able to help. They brought me here for a reason. I will still try to do everything I can on the bench and keeping guys calm and try to supply some energy on the bench. It's all I can do."

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