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BASEBALL / DAILY REPORT : ANGELS

Snow Won't Give Up Switch-Hitting

September 01, 1996|MIKE DiGIOVANNA

J.T. Snow is batting .179 (29 for 162) from the right side--and .298 from the left side--this season, but the Angel first baseman has no plans to scrap being a switch-hitter.

"It's an option, but I still think he can improve from the right side," said Rod Carew, Angel batting instructor. "That's a gift, being able to switch-hit."

Snow, who did not start against Yankee left-hander Jimmy Key Saturday night, hit .267 from the right side in 1995, but has struggled against left-handers this season.

In 326 at-bats from the left side, Snow has 26 extra-base hits and 45 RBIs. In 162 at-bats from the right side, he has five extra-base hits and 16 RBIs.

"We need to address that," interim Manager Joe Maddon said. "For whatever reason he has struggled from the right side, but I don't think it's because he lacks bat speed. He just feels more comfortable from the left side."

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The Angels found a last-minute shopper in need of a catcher Saturday and traded Don Slaught to the Chicago White Sox for a player to named, marking the second time this season, after the July 27 Pat Borders deal, the Angels sent a veteran catcher to the White Sox.

Slaught, unhappy with his reduced role--eight at-bats in the past month--requested a trade two weeks ago and was told by front-office officials Thursday there wasn't sufficient interest in him. But the White Sox called Saturday afternoon and the deal was done.

Slaught, 37, hit .324 with six homers and 32 RBIs, but with the Angels out of contention, youngsters Jorge Fabregas and Todd Greene have shared the job. Infielder Dick Schofield, on the disabled list since April 20 because of personal reasons, was activated and took Slaught's roster spot.

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Actor Billy Crystal, who spoke during Mickey Mantle Day ceremonies in Yankee Stadium last weekend, was invited by Yankee Manager Joe Torre to take batting practice with the team before Saturday night's game. "I think he's going to take my roster spot," cracked Mike Aldrete, Yankee outfielder on the disabled list. . . . The basement level of Anaheim Stadium is one of Yankee closer John Wetteland's favorite in-line skating spots. But when Torre was informed that Wetteland, on the DL because of a groin injury, was skating before Saturday's game, the manager left a pregame press briefing to ground his pitcher. "There was no fine, but the skates had to be put away," Torre said. "When you're dealing with a leg injury, you're tempting fate." . . . Chuck Finley, who will start today's series finale, is 3-0 with an 0.75 earned-run average in three starts against the Yankees this season. . . . The Yankees completed the Charlie Hayes deal by sending Class-A pitcher Chris Corn to the Pittsburgh Pirates Saturday. . . . The Angels today will purchase the contract of triple-A catcher Chris Turner.

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