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BASEBALL SPRING TRAINING REPORT : DODGERS

Martinez Ready to Shoulder the Future

March 07, 1998|JASON REID

Pitcher Ramon Martinez is feeling fine, so he would rather not be reminded about the shoulder injury he suffered last season.

The right-hander prefers to talk about the way he is pitching now, which is as well as ever. He made his second start of spring training on Friday, continuing his impressive showing in the Dodgers' 18-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles at Vero Beach, Fla.

He gave up a single and a solo home run to Ryan Minor, and struck out two without a walk. Martinez's pitches were clocked consistently at 93-97 mph, and he said he felt strong enough to pitch another inning or two.

"It was like I wasn't even sweating much, which is a good sign," said Martinez, who has recovered from a partial tear on the rotator cuff of his throwing shoulder.

"I feel like I did in 1990, when I would just throw the ball right by [batters]. My location has never been this good [this early]."

*

Outfielder Billy Ashley, pinch-hitting in the sixth inning, hit a grand slam. Ashley isn't expected to make the team, and the Dodgers are trying to accommodate him with a trade. . . . The walkway outside the Dodgertown clubhouse will be named Don Sutton Circle on Sunday in honor of the former pitcher, who was elected to the Hall of Fame in January. . . . The team nullified the contract of Sug Chung, a pitcher from South Korean, because of damage in his pitching shoulder.

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