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SPRING TRAINING REPORT / AROUND THE MAJORS

Appier May Be Sidelined Until All-Star Break

March 25, 1998|Times Wire Services

Kansas City Royal ace Kevin Appier probably will be sidelined through the All-Star break after undergoing arthroscopic surgery Tuesday to repair a tear in his right shoulder.

The Royals said the surgery was successful and that Appier is expected to begin soft tossing in six weeks.

A source close to the situation, however, told the Associated Press that "we're looking at him being out probably until the All-Star break" in early July. The source spoke on the condition that he not be identified.

Appier, 30, has been one of baseball's most durable pitchers through the decade. He is 104-78 lifetime with a 3.30 earned-run average. He was 9-13 with a 3.40 ERA in 34 starts in 1997.

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J.D. Drew's attempt to become a free agent began with the opening of a grievance hearing in New York.

The union contends the outfielder should be a free agent because he signed with a Northern League team. Management says that if he doesn't sign with the Philadelphia Phillies by the start of the amateur draft on June 2, he should be subject to the 1998 draft.

If Drew, the No. 2 pick in last year's draft, wins, all amateur players could ignore the draft and become free agents by signing with teams in independent leagues.

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Two baseball agents aren't even waiting for the latest Cuban defectors to leave detention camp before trying to sign them as clients.

Joe Cubas and Gus Dominguez, who have previous Cuban defectors as clients, are battling over four players who escaped the communist island last week. Dominguez spoke Tuesday with pitching coach Enrique Chinea, who defected along with the players.

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The Cincinnati Reds claimed outfielder Tony Tarasco off waivers and assigned him to their minor league camp. The Baltimore Orioles waived Tarasco, 26, because they had plenty of outfielders and couldn't make a trade. Tarasco was four for 28 (.143) in 18 spring games with the Orioles. . . . Third baseman Bobby Bonilla, one of the few regulars from the Florida Marlins who escaped the team's off-season purge, will begin the season on the disabled list. The Marlins put Bonilla on the 15-day list, retroactive to March 22, while he continues to undergo rehabilitation on his left wrist. . . . The Cleveland Indians put pitchers Chad Ogea and John Smiley on the 15-day disabled list. Ogea is recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery. Smiley broke his pitching arm while warming up in the bullpen last Sept. 20 and will be put on the 60-day list later.

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