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Thursday, June 5
Updated: June 6, 8:33 PM ET
Second opinion to help determine length of injury

Associated Press

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Montreal slugger Vladimir Guerrero was placed on the 15-day disabled list Friday with a herniated disc in his back.

The Expos will purchase the contract of infielder/catcher Edwards Guzman from Triple-A Edmonton on Saturday to take Guerrero's place. Guzman was batting .352 with three homers and 27 RBIs for the Trappers.

Guerrero will seek a second opinion next week to confirm the diagnosis and to determine how long he'll be out.

Guerrero, bothered by a bad back for four weeks, aggravated it even further when he grounded into a double play to end Montreal's loss to Florida on May 26.

He missed the next six games, before returning to the lineup for two games this week. The move is retroactive to Thursday.

Guerrero is hitting .301 with eight homers and 33 RBIs, and is the most-feared hitter in Montreal's lineup.

Guerrero has been one of the most durable players in baseball, averaging nearly 159 games a year the past five seasons. He hasn't been on the DL since spending three stints there in 1997.

The Expos also got some bad news about starter Zach Day, who has a slight tear in his right rotator cuff and will miss six-to-eight weeks.

Day, who was 4-3 with a 3.44 ERA in 11 starts, is the third Montreal starter to go on the disabled list. Hernandez and Tony Armas Jr. are also sidelined with shoulder injuries.

"It's devastating," manager Frank Robinson said. "One thing I said in spring training is that this team can't afford to lose front-line players for very long. We've been hit hard."

The Expos also purchased left-hander Anthony Ferrari's contract from Triple-A Edmonton to replace first baseman Jeff Liefer, who was claimed off waivers by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

Ferrari was 3-1 with a 1.50 ERA and five saves in 23 relief appearances for Double-A Harrisburg and Edmonton. Montreal needed another reliever after using its bullpen for 18 2-3 innings over the last three games.

Liefer hit .193 with three homers and 18 RBIs in 35 games for Montreal and couldn't beat out Wil Cordero for the starting first base job. The Expos tried to trade him but couldn't find any takers.

"I hoped we would get more production from him," general manager Omar Minaya said. "We knew going in that it was a competition between Cordero and Liefer. At the end of the day, Cordero did much better."

Liefer was acquired along with Rocky Biddle and Orlando Hernandez in a three-way trade that sent 20-game winner Bartolo Colon to the Chicago White Sox.

Hernandez might not pitch at all this season after undergoing surgery on his right shoulder.

Biddle has been a valuable contributor this season, going 3-1 with a 3.94 ERA and 15 saves in 17 chances as Montreal's closer.

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