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Langston Calls It Quits for This Season

September 02, 1997|JOHN WEYLER

Mark Langston's 1997 season came to end in an empty Anaheim Stadium Monday afternoon when he couldn't get loose before he was scheduled to pitch a simulated game. The veteran left-hander, who underwent elbow surgery May 27, decided the best course of action is complete rest for a couple of months. He will begin rehabilitation in the winter and hopes to be ready to pitch in spring training.

"I had some discomfort last week when I threw on the side in San Diego, but this was a huge step backward," Langston said. "I've done all the work, everything I could do, but the Good Lord just won't allow it to happen this year so I'm shutting it down. It was my decision."

Looking back, Langston believes his season may have been sunk by a new sinker. He changed his grip on the pitch during spring training and that's when he first began to experience pain in his elbow.

He had not used the pitch since surgery--he didn't use it during his brief return Aug. 20 when he gave up five runs to the Yankees in one inning--but decided when he felt no discomfort after that outing to again include the pitch in his repertoire.

"I hadn't felt any pain on the outside of my elbow since surgery until I started throwing it again the last week or so," he said. "I don't know for a fact that it's the cause of my problems, but I'm sure it puts extra stress on the elbow."

Langston, in the last year of his contract, hopes to return with the Angels--the team he said recently he wanted to finish his career with--but acknowledged that his Angel career could be over.

"There won't be any [contractual] problems if they want me back," Langston said. "We'll get it done easily. If not, and I think I can still pitch, I'm sure other options will be there."


Right-hander Rich DeLucia pitched to nine batters in a simulated game Monday and said he was pleased with his performance and his command. DeLucia, who underwent surgery July 21 to remove an aneurysm that was restricting blood flow in his shoulder, was told he would probably be out for the season. "I'm just happy to able to throw and be in a position where maybe I can help the team down the stretch," he said. Manager Terry Collins said DeLucia could be activated as early as Thursday. . . . Mark Gubicza, who was moved from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day list Monday, was encouraged with the way his arm felt the day after he gave up four runs and seven hits during a two-inning rehabilitation stint at Class-A Lake Elsinore. "The numbers aren't what you'd like and my velocity isn't where I want it, but I feel great," he said. "I just need to build my arm strength." Collins said Gubicza could be activated today but would remain in the bullpen as "security," which means he will likely pitch only in mop-up situations. . . . The Angels activated infielder Randy Velarde from the disabled list Monday. Velarde, who is recovering from reconstructive elbow surgery, will be used only as a pinch-runner.



Anaheim Stadium, 7 p.m.

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

* Update--Dickson, who has been battling shoulder stiffness, threw 79 pitches in 4 1/3 innings of Thursday's 9-2 loss in San Diego. He gave up eight hits and eight runs. Astacio, acquired in the Aug. 18 trade that sent Eric Young to the Dodgers, won his first game with Colorado Thursday when he gave up five runs in 6 2/3 innings of a 9-5 victory over Seattle. Astacio struck out nine Mariners in the game.

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