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BASEBALL : Redington to Be Angel Replacement Player

March 23, 1995|MIKE DiGIOVANNA

Tom Redington, a former Esperanza High School standout who was The Times Orange County player of the year in 1987, has agreed to become a replacement player for the Angels.

Redington, a third-round pick of the Atlanta Braves in 1987, hit .296 with 13 home runs, 31 doubles and 66 runs batted in for the Angels' Class-A team at Lake Elsinore last season.

Redington, a first baseman, is one of two Angel minor leaguers who have accepted the team's recent offer of a guaranteed minor league roster spot when the strike is settled and an increased minor league salary guaranteed for the season, whether they play or are released.

Fred Diaz, 22, an infielder from El Monte High School and Cerritos College who hit .286 with 64 RBIs at Lake Elsinore last season, also joined the Angels for Wednesday's game against the Seattle Mariners.

Diaz entered at shortstop in the sixth inning of the Angels' 10-8 victory over the Mariners at the Peoria Sports Complex. Redington, who has been bothered by a bad back, didn't play but said he would be available for today's game against the Colorado Rockies in Tucson.

Redington, 26, who signed for $100,000 out of high school, was projected as the Braves' third baseman in the late 1980s but struggled in the Atlanta organization.

Redington sat out 1993 before signing with the Angels the following winter. He said he's not worried about any repercussions from his decision to cross the union's symbolic picket line.

"Guys who I'm friends with in minor league camp are fine with it," Redington said. "Maybe if I wasn't getting married in November things would be different, but I have to do what I have to do."

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Angel first baseman Tyrone Boykin had a big day Wednesday, singling in the third, hitting a three-run home run in the fourth and a run-scoring single in the sixth to lead the team's 14-hit attack.

Boykin also saved the game with a lunging grab of Tommy LeVasseur's hard grounder down the first base line. He stepped on the bag with runners on first and second and two out in the ninth.

"The game is tied if he doesn't get that ball," Angel Manager Marcel Lachemann said. "He really had an outstanding day."

Lachemann hasn't named an opening day starting pitcher yet, but he did Wednesday that Boykin, who improved his spring average to .375, and catcher Doug Davis, who has impressed coaches with his defensive ability, would likely be in the starting lineup.

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