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BASEBALL DAILY REPORT : ANGELS : Flora Hopes to Rebound Once Again

August 09, 1994|BOB NIGHTENGALE

While Angel management has painfully watched this season unfold, perhaps no one has suffered more than second baseman Kevin Flora.

The Angels have used four starting second basemen, alternatively moving Damion Easley from second to third to second to the bench to second, and Flora knows he could have been the mainstay the entire year.

"It's been very hard to watch," said Flora, who visited with Angel players for the first time since spring training, "because it's been a revolving door there. But I can't blame anyone, or be mad at anyone.

"I've brought a lot of this on my own."

Flora, who originally was projected to be the Angels' everyday second baseman this season, realizes this was another lost season. He missed virtually all of last year, and nearly the first three months of this season trying to cope with the death of his wife, who was killed April 22, 1992. He was assigned to Class A Lake Elsinore after he returned to baseball in July, but now has been out the last 10 days with tendinitis in his left knee. Flora said he plans to play in a winter league and hopes to contend for a starting job next spring.

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The Angels optioned starter Andrew Lorraine, 0-2, 10.61 earned-run average, to triple-A Vancouver after Monday's game and recalled reliever Mike James, 5-3, 5.49 ERA. The move was made to allow Lorraine to continue pitching should there be a players' strike.

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Although the Angels were thwarted in their attempt to acquire center fielder Andy Van Slyke from the Pittsburgh Pirates, they are planning to pursue the 33-year-old Gold Glove winner this winter as a free agent.

If the Angels are successful in acquiring Van Slyke, sources say, they will move center fielder Chad Curtis to left field, and then make a decision on whom to play at first base, J.T. Snow, Jim Edmonds or Garret Anderson. They likely would attempt to trade at least one, if not two of the three players.

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