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ANGELS PLUS

The Minor Leagues

May 18, 1999|BILL SHAIKIN

News and notes from the Angels' minor league system:

TRIPLE A

Edmonton Trappers

Record: 17-20

Standing: First place, Northern Division, one-half game in front.

Update: If the Angels needed to promote a pitcher, Mike Fyhrie would be the one. Fyhrie, 29, is 4-2, ranked fifth in the Pacific Coast League with a 2.40 earned-run average and second with 50 strikeouts, in 45 innings. Scott Brow, 30, is tied for the league lead with seven saves, but he has given up 21 hits and 12 walks in 19 innings and is 0-2 with a 6.52 ERA. Jarrod Washburn, 24, the lone prime pitching prospect, has started only three games because of a back injury. Besides Fyhrie, the best pitcher lately has been utility infielder Jamie Burke, 27, who threw three scoreless innings in a mop-up role, striking out three and registering 89 mph on the radar gun. Catcher Ben Molina, 24, is hitting .333 with only six strikeouts in 108 at-bats, performed a neat feat by throwing out four runners trying to steal--in a game pitched by knuckleballer Paul Morse.

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DOUBLE A

Erie (Pa.) SeaWolves

Record: 19-15

Standing: Third place, Southern Division, 2 1/2 games behind.

Update: Under the guidance of pitching coach Howie Gershberg, the SeaWolves' staff leads the Eastern League with a 3.70 ERA. Brian Cooper, 24, who went 8-10 with a 7.13 ERA at double-A Midland (Texas) last year, has reclaimed his prospect status with a 3-1 record and 1.88 ERA; he leads the league with 58 strikeouts. He has given up 26 hits in 48 innings. Seth Etherton, 22, the Angels' top draft pick a year ago, is 2-4 with a 4.50 ERA. Matt Wise, 23, leads the league in victories; he's 5-2 with a 3.27 ERA. Ramon Ortiz, 23, the Angels' top prospect, is 1-4 with a 4.98 ERA. Mark Harriger, 24, is expected to miss three weeks to rest a sore elbow. The Angels promoted outfielder Mike Colangelo, 22, to Edmonton after he hit .339 and scored 24 runs in 28 games.

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CLASS A

Lake Elsinore Storm

Record: 18-20

Standing: Third place, Southern Division, one game behind.

Update: Oui! Steve Green, a French-Canadian prospect from Longueil, Quebec (a suburb of Montreal), has pitched back-to-back shutouts, the only shutouts in the California League this season. Green, 21, the Angels' 10th-round draft choice in 1997, is 2-2 with a 3.38 ERA and 39 strikeouts in 40 innings. Scot Shields, 23, leads the league in victories; he's 6-2 with a 3.13 ERA. The Angels promoted outfielder Nate Murphy, 24, to Erie after he hit .355 and drove in 20 runs in 28 games. While the Angels have stolen 17 bases, the Storm has stolen 67, led by shortstop Nelson Castro (16), outfielder Jeb Dougherty (14) and outfielder Darren Blakely (10).

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CLASS A

Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Kernels

Record: 16-20

Standing: Tied for third place, Western Division, 2 1/2 games behind.

Update: Renney Duarte and Doug Bridges rank among Midwest League pitching leaders. Duarte, 20, of Venezuela, is 3-1 with a 1.52 ERA, six walks and 24 strikeouts in 29 innings; Bridges, 22, is 3-2 with a 2.06 ERA, seven walks and 43 strikeouts in 48 innings. Third baseman Mike Christensen, 22, is hitting .297 and ranks among league leaders in home runs (seven), RBI (29) and extra-base hits (22). Catcher Jason Hill, 22, is hitting .330. The Angels sent Mexican teen prodigy Carlos Gastelum, 17, here for a little exposure before rookie leagues open play next month; Gastelum is hitting .148 in 27 at-bats.

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