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BASEBALL / DAILY REPORT : ANGELS : Easley Receives Vote of Confidence

August 18, 1995|MIKE DiGIOVANNA

He might not be drawing comparisons to Ozzie Smith, but Damion Easley's transition from second base to shortstop has gone so well the Angels are no longer trying to trade for another shortstop.

The Angels had discussions with the Detroit Tigers (Chris Gomez), New York Mets (Jose Vizcaino) and Kansas City Royals (Greg Gagne) about a possible replacement for the injured Gary DiSarcina, but "we're not actively in the market" anymore, said Tim Mead, assistant general manager.

"Half the battle is wanting to take the challenge, and Damion never shied away from it," Mead said. "He has the range and the arm, and he's made the adjustments. He's done a good job, we have a Gold Glove second baseman [Jose Lind], and protection on the way in [triple-A shortstop Dick] Schofield . . . and we're winning."

Manager Marcel Lachemann said he's "comfortable" with his double-play combination but didn't rule out the possibility of Schofield, the former Angel who was signed when DiSarcina tore a ligament in his thumb Aug. 3, joining the Angels as a backup. Schofield spent a week training in Mesa, Ariz., before playing his first game Wednesday for triple-A Vancouver. *

Lachemann cringes whenever conversation turns to the post-season; he practically scolds reporters for asking questions about the Angels possibly making the playoffs.

"Focus too far down the road and you get your face slapped," Lachemann said before Thursday night's game.

So what was awaiting reporters in the press box Thursday night? A stack of Angel media credential applications for the American League playoffs.

And who's meeting today to discuss potential post-season opponents? About two dozen Angel scouts. Beginning in early September, the Angels will probably have two scouts--one to evaluate pitchers, one for hitters--traveling with playoff contenders from the American and National leagues.

*

DiSarcina, who underwent thumb surgery last week and is probably out for the rest of the regular season, said he will know in two weeks whether he'll have any chance of making a comeback in the post-season.

"I'm not going to rule out anything--it's too early," he said. "We'll know more in two weeks when they take the pin out that is holding the ligament to the bone."

*

Garret Anderson, whose .348 average through Wednesday would rank second in the league if he had enough at-bats, is making a strong push for rookie-of-the-year honors, but it's doubtful he'll be eligible for the A.L. batting title.

Players must average 3.1 plate appearances per game--446 in a 144-game season. Anderson had 243 through Wednesday, meaning he'd have to average 4.95 plate appearances per game--and play in all of the Angels' remaining games--to qualify for the title.

*

Shawn Boskie has made two of three scheduled rehabilitation starts for Class-A Lake Elsinore, but Lachemann said the right-hander, recovering from elbow tendinitis, will need several more minor league starts before he has enough arm strength to return to the Angel rotation. . . . Infielder Luis Raven, optioned off the 40-man roster to make room for Dave Gallagher, has cleared waivers and was sent from Vancouver to double-A Midland.

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