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Gonzalez to DL, will have elbow surgery

Gonzalez to DL, will have surgery

CINCINNATI -- As the Reds took batting practice before Saturday's Civil Rights Game against the White Sox, all shortstop Alex Gonzalez could do was watch from the clubhouse tunnel or sit in the dugout.

Gonzalez was placed on the 15-day disabled list after it was learned that he had four loose bone chips in his right elbow. He is expected to have surgery to remove them on Tuesday.

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"What can I say? It's tough luck," Gonzalez said. "I want to be out there. I missed all of last season. To be out for a while this year is tough. I have to get it done."

Infielder Danny Richar and catcher/infielder Wilkin Castillo were called up from Triple-A Louisville. As part of the transactions, left-handed starter Matt Maloney was optioned to Louisville and third baseman Edwin Encarnacion was transferred from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL.

Gonzalez is expected to miss the next three to four weeks. Minutes before Friday's game, he was scratched from the starting lineup. Jerry Hairston Jr. started at shortstop on Saturday and is expected to share time with Paul Janish.

"He took a swing yesterday and his arm locked up on him," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "I was probably more upset [Friday] when I had to scratch him. Alex doesn't complain about nothing. If he says he's hurt, something is wrong. That got me down yesterday when Gonzo couldn't play. The first couple of innings, I was really quiet."

Gonzalez reported no arm trouble leading up to Friday.

"I took ground balls and it was fine. It doesn't bother me to throw," he said.

In 49 games this season, Gonzalez is batting .214 with two home runs and 20 RBIs. In the final guaranteed season of a three-year, $14 million contract signed before the 2007 season, injuries have loomed large for Gonzalez during his tenure in Cincinnati.

The 32-year-old Gonzalez missed all of 2008 because of a compression fracture in his left knee, which required reconstructive surgery. The Reds took a cautious approach with him in the early portion of this season to protect his legs, but there have been no serious issues.

Gonzalez said he had a similar elbow injury in 2005 with the Marlins and came out fine on the other side.

"I'll come back in the middle of July, and I hope the team continues to be in the race," Gonzalez said. "When I come back, I will try to do what I've been doing this season."

Richar, who was not on the 40-man roster, was batting .290 with four home runs and 16 RBIs in 47 games with the Bats. The 26-year-old played in 16 games for Cincinnati last season. Castillo was batting .221 in 37 games this season for the Bats. In two previous big league stints this season, he's made two pinch-hitting appearances and one as a pinch-runner.

Maloney was 0-2 with a 6.11 ERA in three starts for the Reds, including on Thursday when he gave up six runs over 5 2/3 innings during a 7-0 loss to the Braves. Because of a scheduled off-day on Monday, the Reds won't need a fifth starter until next Saturday at Cleveland.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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