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BASEBALL / DAILY REPORT : ANGELS : Stevens Takes a Fresh Approach

April 16, 1992|HELENE ELLIOTT

Lee Stevens returned to the lineup Wednesday after sitting out three games to work on his swing and his perspective. Whether he was successful on the first count can't yet be determined, but he felt mentally refreshed after a session with Ken Ravizza, whom the Angels call their sports psych instructor.

Stevens, given the first base job after Wally Joyner signed with Kansas City, was hitless in 13 at-bats before Wednesday, reducing his average to .071. He singled in his first at-bat and homered in his second Wednesday, but he struck out in his last two at-bats.

"I was thinking about everything but the game," said Stevens, who was taunted by chants of "Wal-ly" when he had difficulty scooping some errant throws last week during the Angels' season-opening home stand.

"Ken asked me why I felt the way I did, and just to get things off my chest really helped. Things really started to click in. One day doesn't make a season, but at least I feel good going into the game."

Manager Buck Rodgers said it was a difficult decision to take Alvin Davis' .400 batting average out of the lineup, but he wanted to adhere to his schedule and reinstate Stevens against Bobby Witt.

"We feel he's over the heebie-jeebies," Rodgers said of Stevens. "And he only had (14) at-bats. We told him if he gets a couple of hits, he could be back up there. You could be among the league leaders with a good week. It wasn't like he had 200, 250 at-bats."

Chuck Finley threw off the mound Wednesday and experienced no problems with his left big toe, according to pitching coach Marcel Lachemann. Finley, who is eligible for activation off the disabled list April 21, has avoided talking to reporters since aggravating his surgically repaired toe in the Freeway Series April 5.

"His arm is fine and it looks like his toe is fine," Lachemann said after watching Finley's half-hour workout. "We're looking to re-establish his mechanics. He had no problems with the toe today."

Mark Langston, scratched from his Friday start because of a sore left hip, is scheduled to throw Friday. . . . Ron Tingley is scheduled to make his first appearance of the season tonight.

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