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SPRING TRAINING REPORT / ANGELS

Not Real, but a Start for McDowell

March 05, 1998|JOHN WEYLER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

TEMPE, Ariz. — Jack McDowell pitched to hitters--albeit a group of Angel non-roster invitees--for the first time since undergoing elbow surgery last May during Wednesday's simulated game.

He threw 43 pitches, faced 14 batters and yielded two hits.

"It's just another step in getting ready for the season," he said. "It's been a long time and facing hitters changes things a little bit. It creates some adrenaline because the purpose is to get guys out."

Pitching coach Marcel Lachmann said the simulated game was "exactly what I wanted to get."

"His command wasn't game ready," he said, "but he looked good."

McDowell's assessment of his control?

"Well, I got some 55-foot split-fingers out of the way."

*

Allen Watson, hoping to avoid another slow start this season, arrived in Arizona in the best shape of his career. The idea was to hit the ground running, have a good spring and carry it over into April and May.

So far, it looks like a fine plan. He gave up three hits, one walk and struck out two in three shutout innings of the Angels' 9-7, 10-inning loss to Seattle in Peoria on Wednesday.

The only real scare came in the first inning when Edgar Martinez hit a shot off the back of his left thigh.

"I never saw it, and if I had been fat like last year, it wouldn't have hurt," said Watson, who has lost 17 pounds since last season. "That's a great lineup and I worked my way out of some jams. The last four innings, I've done what I wanted to do."

*

Shigetoshi Hasegawa followed Watson to the mound and did little to secure his spot on the opening-day roster. The Angels led, 3-0, when Hasegawa came in and trailed, 4-3, two innings later when he left. Hasegawa gave up a homer to David Segui, a triple to Alex Rodriguez and doubles to Martinez, Joey Cora and Ken Griffey Jr. "He got the ball over the middle of the plate, but that's going to happen," Manager Terry Collins said. "It's going to take a control pitcher a while in the spring to start hitting his spots." . . . First-round pick Troy Glaus hit his third prodigious homer of the spring, a towering shot to left off Bill Swift. "He's got power and he's displaying it," Collins said. "He didn't only hit that ball high, he hit it hard."

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