Mondesi placed on restricted list by Pirates

Updated: May 11, 2004, 7:31 PM ET

DENVER -- The Pittsburgh Pirates placed Raul Mondesi on the restricted list on Tuesday, a day after the outfielder said he plans to sit out the rest of the season.

Mondesi, whose pay has been withheld most of the season because of a lawsuit, returned to his home in the Domincan Republic on Saturday and missed a three-game series against Los Angeles. He was placed on the restricted list after failing to show up for a three-game series against Colorado that started Tuesday night.

The Pirates won't have to pay Mondesi while he's on the restricted list and replaced him on the roster with outfielder Daryle Ward.

"I haven't heard from him or his agent," Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon said Tuesday. "All I know is we are putting him on the restricted list and are bringing up Daryle Ward. There are things that he needs to get done. We have to respect that and go on."

A Dominican civil court ruled in February that Mondesi owed former major leaguer Mario Guerrero about $640,000 for helping him improve his baseball skills, a claim Mondesi denies.

Mondesi appealed the ruling, but said the court ordered his nine accounts in nine Dominican banks frozen and the Pirates withheld his pay.

He threatened to leave the team in April unless the Pirates paid him by the end of the month, then said Monday that he's going to sit out the season so he can rest and spend more time with his four children.

"I won't play another game this season," Mondesi said. "I can't concentrate well enough to play baseball. I don't want to become a distraction for the team. This is the best for the Pirates, for myself and my family."

Mondesi, 33, didn't rule out a return next season, but it leaves the Pirates in a bind without their cleanup hitter. The two-time Gold Glove winner was hitting .283 with two homers and 14 RBIss after signing with Pittsburgh as a free agent.

"I have a lot of respect for Raul and support whatever he's doing," Pirates third baseman Chris Stynes said. "We have to be supportive, but at the same time we have to keep playing."

Mondesi was the NL Rookie of the Year in 1994 with the Los Angeles Dodgers, and twice had 30-homer, 30-steal seasons. He has a career batting average of .276 with 266 homers and 842 RBIss in 12 seasons with the Dodgers, Toronto, New York Yankees, Arizona and Pittsburgh.

"I talked to the team, encouraging them to stay focused and keep playing," McClendon said. "Time doesn't stop. There is a lot of baseball still to be played."

Ward hit .306 with five homers and 14 RBIss in 17 games at Triple-A Nashville this season.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index

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