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Perisho Still Stunned About His Promotion

May 24, 1997|MIKE DiGIOVANNA

With long, blond, curly hair flowing from his new Angel cap, you could say pitcher Matt Perisho was literally wide-eyed and bushy-tailed Friday.

The 21-year-old left-hander, recalled from double-A Midland when Mark Langston was put on the 15-day disabled list Friday, arrived at Skydome about 1 1/2 hours before the Angels' game against the Toronto Blue Jays and was still trying to sort everything out.

"It really didn't sink in until the plane landed," said Perisho, who will start against the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday. "We hit the ground and I thought, 'OK, what do I do now?' I don't even remember pitching [Thursday] night. They told me in the seventh inning [of Midland's 2-1 loss to Jackson] that I'd be called up, and from then on everything was just a blur."

There were some details to work out Friday. "Who would I talk to about getting a belt?" Perisho asked as he got dressed. Then he looked in his locker, saw his Angel uniform with No. 62 and "PERISHO" on the back, and stopped to admire it.

"That's the first jersey I've ever had with my name on it," said Perisho, who was 5-2 with a 2.96 earned-run average, three complete games and one shutout at Midland.

"I'm excited, but at the same time I'm nervous, because this is what you dream about, what I've been working for since I was 10. . . . It's exciting that I'm here, but I want to do enough to stay here, so that makes you nervous."

With Langston expected to be out at least three weeks after undergoing exploratory arthroscopic surgery on his elbow on Tuesday, Perisho should get several starts to show he belongs. Joining the big league team four days before his debut, he said, should help.

"I can see a couple of games and get a feel for how things are done," Perisho said. "It's kind of weird. . . . You look up to these guys for so long, to actually be here is just amazing. But I also hope Mark is OK and gets back as soon as he can."


Manager Terry Collins didn't think it reflected poorly on the Angel organization that its best starting pitching prospect was a 21-year-old in double-A instead of someone in triple-A. "What that tells me is we have some bright young pitching in Midland," he said. "They tell me he's ready, that he's throwing quality pitches for strikes and he's the best choice, so I have no problem with it." . . . Perisho on the Detroit Tigers: "All I know is Tony Clark has a lot of bombs--I see him on 'SportsCenter' every night." . . . Japanese right-hander Shigetoshi Hasegawa dismissed a USA Today note claiming he was considering retirement if he doesn't pitch better.



Skydome, Toronto, 10 a.m.

TV--Channel 9. Radio--KTZN (710).

* Update--Pitching coach Marcel Lachemann has been working extensively with Watson, who has given up 14 earned runs, 19 hits while walking seven walks in his last three appearances, but Collins believes the left-hander needs to make a few mental adjustments as well. "What he needs is to get his confidence back," Collins said. "He's down about the way he's pitching and the outcome of his games. He's got to be mentally prepared, so if something happens in the first inning he's not thinking, 'Here we go again.' " In the Blue Jays, Watson will face a team that started Friday night's game ranked last in the league in batting (.242), last in runs (158), last in total bases (550) and was hitting .218 with runners in scoring position. Toronto also went 89 innings--nine full games plus parts of two others--without a home run from April 30-May 10. In an effort to bolster the offense, the Blue Jays recalled outfielder Ruben Sierra from triple-A Syracuse on Friday and sent pitcher Huck Flener, a former Cal State Fullerton left-hander, to Syracuse.

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