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JUAN GONE TO THE DL TO START THE SEASON

Juan Gonzalez couldn't even make it to opening day with the Cleveland Indians.

The 35-year-old slugger was placed on the 15-day disabled list Thursday by the Indians, who will go north to begin the 2005 season and leave the oft-injured outfielder behind in Florida to rehab his strained right hamstring.

Gonzalez has missed 301 of a possible 486 games the past three seasons with a variety of injuries, primarily to his back.

"He's frustrated with his body," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "But he understands this is the right thing to do."

To replace Gonzalez on the roster, the Indians recalled outfielder Grady Sizemore. The 22-year-old was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo on Sunday when Wedge announced that Gonzalez, a two-time AL MVP with 434 career home runs, would be his starting right fielder.

That lasted less than 24 hours as Gonzalez missed three exhibition games with his latest injury before the Indians decided to put him on the disabled list -- his 11th trip to the DL in 14 major league seasons.

Gonzalez missed eight days earlier in training camp with a strained left hamstring.

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