Originally created 04/18/99

Reds place Wohlers on disabled list

CINCINNATI -- Mark Wohlers was put on the 15-day disabled list Saturday because of an anxiety disorder, a day after the Cincinnati Reds got the struggling reliever in a trade with the Atlanta Braves.

Wohlers and the Reds both believe he can once again be a dominant closer. They just don't know when he might make it back to the majors.

"There's no timetable," Wohlers said at Cinergy Field before a 7-6 loss in 10 innings to Pittsburgh. "It could be two weeks. It could be two months."

Wohlers has been unable to solve the control problems that ended his career with the Braves. He will join Triple-A Indianapolis to begin a rehabilitation assignment.

"Both parties believe I can overcome this and get back to doing what I used to do," Wohlers said.

Reds general manager Jim Bowden described Wohlers' situation as a "mental reclamation project."

"We're completely satisfied that physically he's fine," Bowden said. "It's mental, period."

The Reds got the 29-year-old right-hander from the Braves for pitcher John Hudek. Cincinnati also will receive at least $4.4 million from Atlanta to cover Wohlers' big salary.

Wohlers recorded 97 saves from 1995-97, and closed out the clinching Game 6 of the 1995 World Series for Atlanta.

After running into severe control trouble last season -- he was sent down to Triple-A Richmond for a time -- Wohlers seemed to be making progress this year in spring training. But he got off to a bad start in the regular season, walking six in only two-thirds of an inning.

Wohlers said he hopes to find a more successful approach with the Reds.

"I think I'm not going to make every pitch life and death," he said. "I'm not going to put pressure on myself to make every pitch a perfect pitch."

Wohlers said he had run out of things to try with the Braves.

"I did everything I could do over there," he said. "I tapped all their resources. I went to Richmond twice last year. I think I tried to do too much."

Bowden said he's not worried about Wohlers' physical condition.

"We believe it's a mental problem. We will employ every psychologist, psychiatrist or imaging specialist necessary to help him overcome it," he said.


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