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BASEBALL EXTRA | ANGEL REPORT : NOTES

Collins May Demand a Recount

June 13, 1997|MIKE DiGIOVANNA

Manager Terry Collins is miffed by early returns from All-Star balloting. Of Angel regulars only catcher Jim Leyritz (seventh) was among the top eight vote-getters at his position. No Angel outfielders are among the top 16.

"Unbelievable!" Collins said. "Garret Anderson is third in the league in hits, Jim Edmonds has 11 homers and 39 RBIs, and they don't get any votes? C'mon. . . . I don't mind if the fans vote, but I'm not a big believer in this system because some guys who are having big years get left off the team."

Injury-plagued Yankee outfielder Darryl Strawberry, who is 0 for 14--for the season--ranked 12th, and Texas' Damon Buford was 16th among outfielders.

And Angel designated hitter Eddie Murray, who is batting .219 and has been reduced to a reserve role, ranked fifth among vote-getters at his position.

Said Collins: "Do they even have the ballots out in our ballpark?"

*

Mark Langston appears to be ahead of schedule in his rehabilitation from elbow surgery. The left-hander played catch from about 120 feet for several minutes on Wednesday. He will throw again today.

*

Kevin Gross, a 36-year-old veteran signed to a minor league contract last week, started his first game for triple-A Vancouver on Wednesday night, giving up one run on three hits in four innings of a 6-3 victory over Las Vegas.

"His breaking stuff was good, but it's a matter of making pitches," Collins said. "He felt comfortable, he looked comfortable, and they said he could have gone longer. If his back is healthy and his arm is sound, he can probably help us."

*

Catcher Todd Greene, who has been on a tear since being demoted to Vancouver in mid-April, was named Pacific Coast League and Howe Sportsdata minor league player of the month for May.

Greene, 26, hit .429 (45 for 105) with 16 home runs, 12 doubles and 45 RBIs in 25 games and had a 1.000 slugging percentage. He was batting .383 with 62 RBIs through 45 games and hit his 22nd home run Thursday night.

*

Leyritz, injured in a home-plate collision in Kansas City on Wednesday, sat out Thursday's game because of a severely bruised sternum and may be sidelined for another day or two. . . . Cal State Fullerton pitcher Matt Wise, a sixth-round pick of the Angels, and Seton Hall pitcher Joseph Gangeimi, a fourth-round pick, are two of 20 players who have signed with the team. Both will report to Class-A Boise, Idaho. . . . Padre right fielder Tony Gwynn's first-inning single Thursday was his 2,660th hit, moving him into 55th place on the all-time list with Hall of Famer Harry Heilmann.

TONIGHT'S GAME

ANGELS' DENNIS SPRINGER (4-2, 5.88 ERA) vs. PADRES' FERNANDO VALENZUELA (2-8, 4.75 ERA)

Anaheim Stadium, 7 p.m.

TV--Fox Sports West. Radio--KTZN (710).

* Update--The Angels continued preparations for games in National League parks Thursday afternoon, and they weren't pretty. Reliever Pep Harris, performing a sliding drill in which players are supposed to go feet-first into a 12-by-6-foot mat, did what could best be described as a belly-flop, lifting the mat off the ground but luckily avoiding injury. "I have to tell you, I've actually seen worse than that," Collins said. "I once had a guy miss the mat completely." Valenzuela, the former Dodger standout who was released by the Angels after making two unsuccessful starts in 1991, went 19-8 from Aug. 22, 1995, through the end of last season but has struggled in 1997, going 1-7 with a 5.96 ERA in his last 10 starts. He faced the Angels once in his career, an 8-4 loss in Anaheim as a member of the Baltimore Orioles on May 28, 1993.

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