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BASEBALL DAILY REPORT : Personal Problems Sideline Schofield

April 21, 1996|JOHN WEYLER

Shortstop Dick Schofield was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday due to personal reasons, making room on the roster for right-hander Jason Grimsley, Saturday night's starting pitcher.

Outfielder Marquis Riley, who was batting .234 with triple-A Vancouver, was designated for assignment to open up a spot on the 40-man roster.

Schofield, 33, who returned home to Grover, Mo., for a week during spring training for personal reasons, had played in five games but did not have an at-bat this season. Angel General Manager Bill Bavasi declined to specify the nature of Schofield's problems beyond saying it was a "family matter."

"This is a very temporary thing," Bavasi said. "We want to help him get things taken care of and we found out last season when (Gary) DiSarcina went down that finding a quality shortstop who can run, catch and throw on a day-to-day basis is very tough."

The Angels have a strong young outfield and a number of prospects in the organization. Still, Bavasi said they would have kept Riley if the Angels were pitching better. "If the staff weren't struggling, it probably would have been someone else, but we're trying to hang onto as much pitching as possible," he said.

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Lee Smith wasn't happy about having to make a rehabilitation outing at triple-A Lake Elsinore on Friday night, but he won't have to make a scheduled encore today.

Smith, who gave up a hit, two runs, a walk and a wild pitch in one inning with the Storm on Friday night, will continue testing his right knee in the bullpen before today's game.

"With what we want to get done," Manager Marcel Lachemann said, "it's better to be in a situation where we have more control."

Lachemann said Smith will likely travel with the Angels on a nine-game road trip that begins Tuesday in Milwaukee and could be activated as early as Tuesday if all goes well today.

"They said he looked a little rusty (during Friday night's outing)," Lachemann said, "but his velocity was pretty much up to normal, between 88 and 91 (miles per hour)."

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Damion Easley will leave today for extended spring training in Mesa, Ariz. to continue rehabilitating his injured right shoulder. He will begin an assignment in the minors when he can throw three or four days in a row without pain or stiffness.

"We could start him with Vancouver when they're at Phoenix (April 30-May 3) and then bounce him around to keep him at warm-weather spots so he can keep playing," Lachemann said.

The Angels, who are currently carrying 11 pitchers, could be faced with a dilemma when Easley is healthy.

"Today, it would be tough finding a spot for him, but things have a way of working out," Bavasi said. "Say he's ready to go and the starters are doing a hell of a job. Then we go back to 10 pitchers."

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