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Spring Training Report / ANGELS

McDowell Eyes Different Zone

Angels: Pitcher sees need to be more aggressive and come inside to keep batters off the plate.

March 25, 1998|MIKE DiGIOVANNA | TIMES STAFF WRITER

TEMPE, Ariz. — The first home run Jack McDowell gave up Tuesday was on a 1-2 pitch to Seattle first baseman David Segui. The second was on an 0-2 pitch to Dan Wilson, and the third on another 1-2 pitch to Segui.

Yes, there is a pattern there, and don't think the Angel right-hander didn't notice.

"It means I probably need to up my hit batsmen and be more aggressive," said McDowell, who gave up seven runs on 11 hits in 4 2/3 innings of a 7-5 exhibition loss to the Mariners.

"If they're going to be that comfortable on 0-2 and 1-2 counts, I'm going to have to dust some people off, keep them off the plate. It's one thing to give up 0-2 hits; it's another when they're sitting back and whaling. I have to establish some discomfort [for hitters] when I'm ahead in the count."

McDowell has had mixed results since signing with the Angels on Feb. 25. He was dominant in two starts and hit hard in the other two.

But Manager Terry Collins is pleased with McDowell's recovery from the elbow surgery that ended his season last May.

"From what I've seen of [McDowell] this spring, I have to say we made the right move," Collins said. "He's healthy, and I can't wait to see him when the bright lights are on."

*

Wilson's fourth-inning flare headed toward the gap and Angel center fielder Jim Edmonds closed in, but just when it appeared he would try another diving catch, Edmonds pulled back, letting the ball drop for a double.

"I could have caught it, but I didn't want to dive," the usually fearless Edmonds said. "That's the third time this spring I've caught myself doing that."

Cecil Fielder called Edmonds' decision "a veteran move," applauding the outfielder for not risking injury in a spring training game.

"Everyone has been getting on me about it, wanting me to be more careful," said Edmonds, who made two diving catches earlier this spring. "You get to a point where you don't want to take any unnecessary risks. Sometimes you have to shut it down, and that's hard to do."

*

Tim Salmon hit a three-run homer in the sixth inning and is batting .412 with a team-leading five homers and 21 RBIs. . . . The Angels have agreed to sell reliever Darrell May to the Hanshin Tigers of Japan's Central League but must wait until he clears waivers to announce the deal.

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