'El Duque' Back, Starts Sunday

Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez will come off the disabled list to start Sunday for the New York Yankees, and Dwight Gooden will be moved to the bullpen as a long reliever.

With David Cone returning from a 1 1/2 week stay in Florida to start Saturday, Gooden becomes the odd man out. Manager Joe Torre considered keeping a six-man rotation going temporarily, but decided against it.

"I talked to Doc today," Torre said. "It's a little easier to accept when you know it's not a penalty. Baseball has a way of taking care of business for you."

Hernandez (8-7) has been sidelined since July 14 by right elbow discomfort and mild back spasms. He threw four scoreless innings for Class-A Tampa in a Florida State League game Tuesday.

Gooden was 2-0 with a 1.45 ERA in his last three starts for the Yankees, who signed him up after he was released by Tampa Bay.

Cone, winless in 14 starts since April 28, dropped to 1-10 with a loss at Minnesota on July 27. Owner George Steinbrenner then ordered him to the team's training complex in Tampa, Fla., to work with special instructor Billy Connors.

Also Friday, the Yankees placed reliever Ramiro Mendoza on the disabled list with tendinitis in his right shoulder. Reliever Allen Watson was activated from the DL to take his spot on the roster.

Mendoza was only activated from the DL on July 28. He went on the disabled list June 25 with weakness in a right shoulder muscle.

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