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BASEBALL DAILY REPORT : ANGELS : Nelson Regains His Confidence

September 03, 1993|BOB NIGHTENGALE

Reliever Gene Nelson still has not been told whether the Angels want him back next season. He's eligible for free agency, and with the Angels' austerity program, he realizes that he's in the high-risk group.

Yet, no matter what occurs, Nelson has proved to the baseball world that he's still an effective major league pitcher. And he'll forever be grateful to the Angels, he said, for providing him an opportunity when nearly everyone else shunned him.

"Going into spring training, I still had a lot of doubts about myself," Nelson said. "But now, I'm as confident as I've ever been. I've seen the progress from my winter work program, and I think I'll be even that more effective next season."

Bothered by a weak shoulder, Nelson's earned-run average had ballooned in excess of 6.00 each of the last two seasons. But after a conditioning program during the winter, Nelson has a 3.08 earned-run average, having given up 50 hits in 52 2/3 innings.

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