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Spring Training Roundup : Left-Handed Relief Pitcher Is Still What Angels Need Most

March 06, 1985

Dodger scouts Mel Didier and Jerry Stephenson dropped in at the Angels' training complex at Mesa, Ariz., Tuesday, but it was probably a more routine than meaningful visit.

The Dodgers are in the market for a third baseman. The Angels can't supply one. And the Dodgers, with physical question marks throughout their pitching staff, can't provide the Angels with a left-handed relief pitcher, the club's No. 1 need.

Recent rumors have involved Cleveland left-hander Mike Jeffcoat, who was 5-2 with a 2.99 earned-run average in 63 appearances last year, and a trio of Milwaukee lefties coming off unspectacular seasons--Ted Higuera, Rick Waits and Bob McClure.

General Manager Mike Port said again Tuesday that he will not rush into a deal, particularly since the club may be able to fill the need from within.

Port cited 23-year-old Pat Clements, a former UCLA pitcher who was 4-7 as a starter at Peoria in 1983 and 4-2 with 9 saves in relief at Waterbury in the Double-A Eastern League.

"I wouldn't rule him out," Port said. "He has the mental equilibrium and physical ability to come on fast."

Said Manager Gene Mauch: "I wouldn't hesitate giving the job to an inexperienced pitcher if I believed he had the poise and the ability, and if I thought it wouldn't be a long-range detriment to his career."

In other developments:

Daryl Sconiers missed his fifth straight workout Tuesday and has now been fined $1,225, or $245 a day. Said General Manager Mike Port: "There's nothing more to say. He knows where we are. It's not our obligation to go find him." . . . Manager Gene Mauch said he would play simulated intra-squad games Thursday, Friday and Saturday, then probably give the club Sunday off.

Player representative Ron Romanick will hold a team meeting this morning to discuss negotiations on the collective bargaining agreement. Romanick succeeded Bruce Kison as player rep after serving as Kison's alternate as a rookie, a rare distinction. Said Romanick: "Bob Boone and Doug DeCinces (both long active as union leaders) came to me last year and said I seemed to have a half a brain, would I be interested? I decided to take it and am glad I did. I've gotten a fast education on how the game works."

--ROSS NEWHAN

At St. Petersburg, Fla., Joaquin Andujar, the only pitcher in the National League to win 20 games last year, reported to spring training Tuesday, four days late. His teammates apparently were glad to see him. Andujar found a rubber snake in his uniform.

Also, he and shortstop Ozzie Smith received Gold Gloves from their teammates. Andujar's award was a miniature glove on the end of a key chain. Andujar was also given a large bone because he said he was down to skin and bones.

Andujar threw 10 minutes of batting practice. He said his control was off, but remarked: "Don't worry, I'll be fine."

At West Palm Beach, Fla., Montreal Expo right-hander Charlie Lea has been ordered to refrain from throwing for at least five days after experiencing discomfort in his shoulder while pitching on the sidelines.

Lea, who was 15-12 and led the Expos in victories last year, is hampered by tendinitis. He has missed three batting practice turns since spring training began. The setback jeopardizes Lea's chances of being Montreal's Opening Day pitcher.

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