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BASEBALL EXTRA | ANGEL REPORT : NOTES

Langston Will Be Out 6-8 Weeks

May 28, 1997|MIKE DiGIOVANNA

Pitcher Mark Langston is expected to be sidelined for six to eight weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery Tuesday to remove inflamed and damaged tissue from his left elbow.

"It's a big loss," Manager Terry Collins said. "Mark is a quality pitcher and a big cog on this team. Right now we have to find someone to pick up his load, and one guy can't do it. Asking [Matt] Perisho to do it by himself is way too much."

Langston, on the disabled list for the fourth time in two years, experienced elbow problems after an April 29 start in Boston. He missed two starts but did not go on the DL, returning May 13 and making two more starts, a win over Chicago and a loss to Seattle.

But the pain returned in the May 19 game against the Mariners, and Langston's arm was sore and stiff the next day. Tuesday's procedure began as exploratory surgery, and the Angels hoped the 36-year-old pitcher would miss only three weeks if no major problems were discovered.

Though damaged tissue isn't as severe as a ligament tear, the removal of it by Angel medical director Lewis Yocum still comes with a fairly lengthy recovery process.

"The doctor said he heals fast, but we don't want to rush him," Collins said. "We want him to be as close to 100% as possible when he comes back. The last thing I want is for him to think he has to get back in three weeks. We have to be realistic. This is going to take some time."

Further exacerbating the Angels' pitching problems is right-hander Mark Gubicza, on the DL since April 12 because of a sore shoulder, having suffered another setback over the weekend when his simulated game was stopped because of shoulder discomfort.

"Any chance of Gubicza replacing Langston in the near future is remote," Collins said. "But we're not going to panic. Dennis Springer is throwing the ball well, Allen Watson looks like he's turned the corner and Chuck Finley and Jason Dickson are pitching well."

*

Todd Greene is hitting so well at triple-A Vancouver, the Angels may recall him soon. In 34 games since being demoted on April 14, the catcher is batting .386 with 19 home runs and 52 runs batted in. With 14 doubles, 33 of his 54 hits have gone for extra bases. . . . Fausto Macey, the right-handed pitcher acquired from San Francisco as part of the J.T. Snow trade, was demoted from Vancouver to double-A Midland after going 1-3 with an 8.10 earned-run average in nine games, walking 32 and striking out 23 in 40 innings. . . . The Angels have signed four Florida community college players from the 1996 draft: catcher Jason Dewey (26th round) of Indian River, pitcher Kris Williams (41st round) of Brevard, pitcher Greg Jones (42nd round) of Pasco Hernando and pitcher William Snelling (53rd round) of Pasco Hernando.

ON DECK

* Opponent--Oakland Athletics, two games.

* Site--Oakland Coliseum.

* Tonight--7:30 p.m.

* TV--Channel 9 Thursday.

* Radio--KTZN (710).

* Records--Angels 25-23, Athletics 21-31.

* Record vs. Athletics--6-7 (1996).

TONIGHT'S GAME

ANGELS' DENNIS SPRINGER (3-1, 4.78 ERA) vs. ATHLETICS' STEVE KARSAY (1-5, 4.65 ERA)

* Update--The A's have had a horrendous month, losing 18 of their first 26 games in May, and though the offense has gone in and out of slumps, the pitching has been consistently bad. Oakland leads the American League in hits, runs and walks allowed, the A's rank 13th in team ERA (5.73) and opponents are batting a league-best .311 against them. Sweeping changes began over the weekend, when starters Mike Mohler and Willie Adams were sent to the bullpen and replaced by Don Wengert and Mike Oquist. Springer, the Angel knuckleballer who pitched a complete game to beat Toronto on Friday, will try to snap the team's three-game losing streak and extend his winning streak to four against a lineup that still has formidable power with Mark McGwire (17 homers, 41 RBIs), Jose Canseco (10 homers, 33 RBIs) and Geronimo Berroa (10 homers, 25 RBIs).

* Thursday, 12:15 p.m.--Allen Watson (2-3, 6.13) vs. Wengert (2-2, 3.96).

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