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BASEBALL / DAILY REPORT : ANGELS : Lachemann Makes Grahe Closer Again

May 20, 1994|BOB NIGHTENGALE

Manager Marcel Lachemann had not even taken his first lineup card to home-plate when he made his first big decision. No longer would the Angels use a bullpen by committee.

He is going with one man: Joe Grahe.

"It's amazing what it does to that particular pitcher when he knows he's the closer," Lachemann said. "Joe did very well in that role when I was here."

Grahe was successful in 21 of 24 save opportunities in 1992 when Bryan Harvey was put on the disabled list. Yet Grahe lost his closer's role last season while succeeding in 16 of 20 saves since Lachemann left the Angels to become pitching coach for the Florida Marlins.

"I'm looking forward to working with him again," said Grahe. "I think it helps to have a role. It keeps you from having an emotional roller-coaster.

"Whenever you have more knowledge on how you're used, it helps you prepare for that role better."

Mike Butcher, Craig Lefferts and Bob Patterson will be used in the set-up and middle relief roles; Mark Leiter and John Dopson will be employed in long relief.

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