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BASEBALL / DAILY REPORT : Carew Expected to Return Friday

May 01, 1996|MIKE DiGIOVANNA

Batting instructor Rod Carew, whose 18-year-old daughter, Michelle, died of leukemia April 17, will return to the Angels for Friday night's game against the Minnesota Twins in Anaheim Stadium, a team spokesman said.

"It's going to be very nice to have him back," said shortstop Gary DiSarcina, who took a .182 average into Tuesday's game at Oakland. "We miss his presence. He goes about his business like he's still a player and knows when to get on guys . . . it's something we've been missing."

Carew took an indefinite leave of absence the first week of the season to be with his ailing daughter, and the Angels have struggled to regain the offensive form that powered them to a 78-67 record in 1995.

But as much as the Angels need Carew, Carew needs his work, which players believe will provide a healthy outlet for the Hall of Fame infielder. They also know they can't look at Carew's return selfishly.

"He doesn't want us to look to him as a cause for anything," DiSarcina said. "He doesn't want sympathy. If there's anyone we can draw inspiration from it's Michelle, because of her courage. We just would rather everything return to normal for Rod rather than it be a 'Rally for Rod' type thing."

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Thursday marks the one-year anniversary of Bryan Harvey's reconstructive elbow surgery, an occasion the reliever plans to . . . celebrate? "Yeah, I'm going to have a big party or something," Harvey said.

One year is considered the minimum recovery period for such an operation, and Harvey's return appears close to schedule. Manager Marcel Lachemann said Harvey has regained about 80% of his arm strength, a "considerable" improvement from a month ago.

Harvey, who rejoined the Angels in Oakland on Tuesday, will continue throwing from the side and will likely pitch a simulated game before going on a minor league rehabilitation assignment, "hopefully within a week," Harvey said.

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Infielder Damion Easley, on the disabled list because of a shoulder injury, began a 20-day minor league rehab assignment Tuesday with triple-A Vancouver, which is in Phoenix this week.

Lachemann wants Easley to play in as much warm weather as possible, so Easley will shift to double-A Midland this weekend for the remainder of his rehab stint.

Pitcher Steve Ontiveros played catch over the weekend for the first time since going on the 60-day disabled list April 5 because of elbow problems. "He was sore afterward," Lachemann said. "He's still a long ways away."

*

Second baseman Randy Velarde entered Tuesday night's game with 26 strikeouts, fourth-most in the American League, and 10 walks, hardly the kind of walk-to-strikeout ratio you want in a lead-off batter.

"But I'm not really alarmed," Lachemann said. "He's been getting a lot of key hits."

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