The St. Louis Cardinals optioned outfielder Brian Jordan, a graduate of Milford Mill, to the Triple-A Louisville Redbirds yesterday.
In 19 spring games, Jordan hit .292 with one home run, seven RBI and three steals.
Cardinals manager Joe Torre told the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times: "I told him I feel he's very close. But coming over here with us and sitting on the bench wouldn't do him any good. He understood that. He thinks he's a big-league player, and I can't necessarily disagree with him. I know he is eventually."
Jordan, a starting safety with the Atlanta Falcons of the NFL, is regarded as the fourth-best prospect in the Cardinals system by Baseball America.
* BRAVES: Atlanta trimmed its roster to 26 by sending pitcher Pete Smith and catcher-infielder Francisco Cabrera to Triple-A Richmond.
Smith, a four-year veteran, had a 3.94 ERA this spring in 16 innings. He was 1-3 with a 5.06 ERA for the Braves last season.
He said general manager John Schuerholz tried to trade him to another club, but that discussions with California, Cleveland and San Diego fell through.
Cabrera, 25, hit .242 in 44 games. He had four home runs and 23 RBI.
Without Smith, the Braves will start the season with 11 pitchers, including right-hander Ben Rivera, a rookie who pitched at Double-A Greenville last season. Rivera, 23, was out of options and could not be returned to the minors without going through waivers.
The Braves must cut one player to get down to the 25-player limit by Tuesday's regular-season opener at Houston.
Manager Bobby Cox said that player would be shortstop Vinny (( Castilla, who will be kept until infielders Jeff Blauser and Mark Lemke are recovered fully from slight injuries.
* REDS: Manager Lou Piniella made his final three cuts to reach the 25-man roster limit, sending catcher Troy Afenir and outfielder Jeff Stone, a former Oriole, to the minor-league system and releasing infielder Al Newman. All three were non-roster players.
The Opening Day roster includes eight new players and four who didn't join the team until well into the 1991 season. Twelve of the 25 players weren't on last year's Opening Day roster.
"This is a different ballclub with a different look than we had last year -- and really, from what we had in '90 [the club's most recent world-championship season]," Piniella said. "At the end of last season we were just a bad ballclub, and not because we had bad talent but because we had people hurt. We needed to do some things. We needed to make some changes."
* METS: Lie-detector tests taken by the three players accused of rape are among the evidence under review, according to an attorney for one of the players.
"They all passed," said Steve Zucker, attorney for outfielder Daryl Boston.
Zucker and attorneys for pitcher Dwight Gooden and outfielder Vince Coleman have denied the rape allegations.
The three Mets haven't been charged and haven't given statements to police, but they submitted to the lie-detector tests two weeks ago and turned in the results Wednesday, Zucker said.