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BASEBALL EXTRA | ANGEL REPORT : NOTES

Minor League Contract for Gross

June 06, 1997|MIKE DiGIOVANNA

The Angels, in an attempt to bolster their injury-plagued rotation, signed veteran pitcher Kevin Gross to a minor league contract Thursday.

Gross, a 36-year-old right-hander who hasn't pitched competitively since late April, went 2-3 with a 4.83 earned-run average in six starts for the Texas Rangers' triple-A team at Oklahoma City this season. A clause in his contract allowed him to become a free agent if the Rangers didn't recall him by May 1.

Gross, a curveball specialist who struck out 26 and walked six in 31 2/3 innings at Oklahoma City, will join the Angels' triple-A Vancouver team Monday and make several starts before being considered for the Angel rotation, which is without injured Mark Langston and Mark Gubicza.

A former Philadelphia Phillie, Montreal Expo and Dodger, Gross went 11-8 with a 5.22 ERA for the Rangers during their American League West division-winning 1996 season but went on the disabled list twice because of back injuries. He has a 140-157 record and 4.09 ERA in 14 seasons.

*

X-rays on pitcher Allen Watson's left hip, which has bothered him in his last three starts, were negative, and the left-hander will remain in the Angel rotation. Watson said the problem may stem from a car accident he was in last December in New York.

"I got broad-sided, and my whole left side was black and blue," Watson said. "I think they wanted to make sure nothing was broken."

The injury, which forced Watson out of Wednesday night's game after six innings, only seems to affect him when he tries to throw inside fastballs to right-handed hitters.

"I can throw it in there, but I have no control over it," Watson said. "I've taken all the medicine, all the therapy. It's getting better, but I can still feel it. The pain just shoots across my hip."

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

TONIGHT'S GAME

ANGELS' CHUCK FINLEY (3-4, 4.95 ERA) VS. TWINS' SCOTT ALDRED (2-8, 7.11 ERA)

Metrodome, Minneapolis, 5 p.m.

Radio--KTZN (710).

* Update--Opponents have begun to counter Manager Terry Collins' aggressive baserunning tactics, throwing out seven of the Angels' last 10 attempted base stealers. "Pitchers are throwing over to first more, and their times to the plate have definitely improved," Collins said. "We may have to maximize our leads and hit and run a little more." Reliever Mike James, sidelined because of tendinitis in his elbow, hopes to be ready by Saturday. Finley has won three of his last four starts, including a 5-3 victory over the Twins Saturday. The Angels roughed up Aldred for five runs on eight hits, including two homers by Dave Hollins, in 2 2/3 innings that game.

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