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BASEBALL DAILY REPORT : ANGELS

Leyritz Goes From Starter to Platoon Role

March 28, 1997|MIKE DiGIOVANNA

Jim Leyritz believed the trade from New York to Anaheim would elevate him from a part-time player to a regular who would catch about 100 games a year and get 450-500 at-bats.

But the combination of his spotty play and Jorge Fabregas' outstanding play behind the plate this spring has made it apparent that the best Leyritz can hope for is a straight platoon and some added plate appearances as a designated hitter or first baseman.

With Fabregas batting left-handed and most pitchers throwing right-handed, Fabregas will probably get most of the playing time.

Leyritz had a sore arm early in spring. He says he feels fine now, but through Tuesday's game, he had thrown out only one of 12 base stealers. Fabregas, on the other hand, has thrown out five of 11 runners and has a .357 spring average.

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The Angels, in desperate need of middle relief pitching, have had trade talks with the Orioles about right-hander Scott Kamieniecki, who has bounced between the New York Yankees' major league and triple-A teams for the last six years.

The Orioles are not asking much for Kamieniecki, but the Angels aren't expected to deal until the Orioles announce final cuts, because Kamieniecki has a clause in his contract that allows him to become a free agent if he is sent to the minor leagues.

The Giants also have a surplus of relievers and are believed to be shopping right-hander Rich DeLucia and left-hander Doug Creek. And veteran right-hander Mike Maddux was waived by the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday.

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