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Percival Expects to Be Activated

April 17, 2002|Chris Foster

Closer Troy Percival expects to be activated from the disabled list Thursday before the Angels play at Oakland. Percival, out since April 3 because of a strained muscle in his right side, threw 15 pitches in a one-inning simulated game Tuesday and reported no pain.

Manager Mike Scioscia said he wanted to see how Percival felt today. But Percival, never one to waste time, declared himself ready.

"If I don't feel anything now, I'm not going feel anything tomorrow morning," Percival said. "I'm tired of sitting. It's tough when you know you should be out there doing your job."

Percival faced Angel teammates Jose Nieves and Jeff DaVanon during the inning. He said he had command of all his pitches and was hitting about 94-96 mph on the radar gun.

"Everything we saw today was encouraging," pitching coach Bud Black said. "We're happy, the training staff is happy and Troy is happy."

Percival was not concerned about topping out at 96 mph, which was the hardest he threw when he saved a game against Cleveland on April 2, his last outing. Percival underwent tests the following day and went on the disabled list April 6.

"You give me four or five days and I will be back up to 97-98," Percival said.

The bullpen blew only one save opportunity in Percival's absence.

Al Levine had handled the closer duties and had three saves.

Angel designated hitter Brad Fullmer was dropped to eighth in the batting order Tuesday, the lowest he has been this season. He has not driven in a run this season.

"That's not a concern at all," Scioscia said. "Brad hit .300 with runners in scoring position last year and his history is to hit .300 with runners in scoring position. He is a very, very good run producer."

Fullmer hit .274 with runners in scoring position and drove in 83 runs with Toronto last season.

Angel bench coach Joe Maddon returned to Pennsylvania after his father died Monday.... Second baseman Adam Kennedy, who is hitting .200, sat out Tuesday's game. Nieves started in his place.





(1-1, 5.79 ERA)





(0-2, 6.35 ERA)

Edison Field, 7

Radio--KLAC (570).

Update--Valdes was 9-13 with a 4.45 earned-run average for the Angels last season. He was outpitched by Schoeneweis in a 3-1 Angel victory April 5 in Texas. Angel shortstop David Eckstein was hit by a pitch in the first inning Tuesday and has been hit three times in 13 games, putting him ahead of last season's pace. Eckstein led the American League by being hit 21 times.

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