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Playing Through the Pain a Sternum Test for Leyritz

June 14, 1997|JOHN WEYLER

Catcher Jim Leyritz sat out Thursday night's game because of a bruised sternum suffered when he was hit in the chest with an elbow during a collision at the plate with Kansas City's Sal Fasano on Wednesday. He was grimacing while taking batting practice Friday but said afterward he would be available to pinch-hit Friday night and hoped to be back in the starting lineup tonight.

"They tell me I can't really do anything to make it any worse, so it's just a matter of being able to swing and throw through the pain," he said. "It was such a freak thing, his elbow was the only thing that hit me, but he got me in just the right spot."

Leyritz, who had difficulty breathing Wednesday, said he felt much better but the area was still swollen.


Chad Kreuter, who came to the Angels with Tony Phillips in the May 18 trade that sent Chuck McElroy and Jorge Fabregas to the Chicago White Sox, says he's surprised at the depth of talent on his new team.

"When I was with Chicago, it was kind of, 'Who are those guys?' " he said, "but now that I'm here and have a chance to see these guys play every day, I'm really impressed.

"A lot of teams have one or two guys that can carry a team, but this team has seven or eight guys who are really good, borderline great, players."


Mark Langston, always the quick healer, is already playing catch 2 1/2 weeks after elbow surgery.

"Some days, I feel like I can pitch the next day, other days I realize why I can't," Langston said. "But so far, I'm pretty excited the way things are going. The hardest part of this ordeal is being patient and trying not to do too much."


Left-hander Chuck Finley stayed home Friday night because of a sinus infection, but Manager Terry Collins is hopeful the veteran left-hander will be well enough to make his next scheduled start, Tuesday against the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. . . . Collins said he has not yet made a decision about who will start Wednesday against the Dodgers. . . . Darin Erstad stole his 12th base of the season in the first inning Friday, the Angels' 45th. Last season, the Angels recorded their 45th stolen base on Sept. 14. . . . Phillips extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a run-scoring single to center in the fourth inning.


* Opponent--San Francisco Giants, two games.

* Site--Anaheim Stadium.

* Tonight--7.

* TV--Fox Sports West tonight, Channel 9 Sunday.

* Radio--KTZN (710).

* Records--Angels 34-29, Giants 36-29.

* Record vs. Giants--First meeting.


* Update--Watson, traded from the Giants to the Angels for J.T. Snow last winter, says he will be "focusing extra hard" tonight. "I was hoping I'd get the chance to pitch against them," he said. "There's always an extra incentive to go after the team that traded you." In Watson's last start of the spring March 25, the Giants had 11 hits and scored eight runs against him in four innings. Lately, the left-hander has been much sharper. He has won four in a row, giving up eight earned runs in the last 25 innings. Carlson, recalled from triple-A Phoenix last Saturday, is making his first major league start.

* Sunday, 1 p.m.--Jason Dickson (8-2, 3.27) vs. William VanLandingham (3-4, 4.38).

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