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Angels Drop Sconiers, Leaving the Question: Who's on First?

December 26, 1985|MIKE PENNER | Times Staff Writer

Daryl Sconiers, once regarded as the Angels' first baseman of the future, has joined Rod Carew and Juan Beniquez among the team's most recent first basemen of the past.

Sconiers, 27, has been dropped from the Angels' 40-man roster as one of three Angels not offered 1986 contracts by the Dec. 20 deadline, thus making them free agents. Pitchers Ken Forsch and Geoff Zahn were the others.

The Angels announced the decisions on Forsch and Zahn last week but didn't publicize the move with Sconiers. Sconiers was treated for substance abuse last spring, causing him to miss the first two months of the 1985 season, and since his return, the Angels have been reluctant to discuss his situation.

General Manager Mike Port was terse when discussing the decision to drop Sconiers.

"He's one of three players on our major league roster that we did not tender a contract to," Port said. "That's the way our plans go. That's the extent of our comment."

Sconiers' career has been fraught with injury and personal problems since he was named the Angels' Rookie of the Year in 1983. He batted .274 with eight home runs and 46 runs batted in that year and displayed a batting stroke that prompted Reggie Jackson to call him "maybe even a better pure hitter than Bill Madlock."

In 1984, a knee injury and a herniated disk in his lower back caused Sconiers to miss 3 1/2 months of the season. He appeared in only 57 games, hitting .244 with 4 home runs and 17 RBIs.

Last year, Sconiers inexplicably failed to report to the team's spring training camp. When the Angels finally located him, Sconiers admitted to having a problem with "substance abuse."

After several weeks of treatment, Sconiers was reinstated to the Angels' roster. He batted .286 in a limited role.

The departure of Sconiers leaves the team's first base position open. Since the end of the 1985 season, the Angels have parted company with Carew, their starting first baseman, and Beniquez, who split time between the outfield and first base. Both players are free agents.

That could signal the anticipated move of Doug DeCinces from third base to first, although Port was noncommittal.

"That's something we'll decide over the next couple months and during spring training," Port said. "This has nothing to do with Doug DeCinces."

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