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ANGEL REPORT

Stoneman Says He's Not in Trade Market

May 07, 2003|Ben Bolch | Times Staff Writer

The Angels are not planning any immediate moves to bolster their batting order with Darin Erstad sidelined indefinitely by tendinitis in his right hamstring.

General Manager Bill Stoneman said Tuesday the team is not exploring a trade to acquire an additional outfielder, and Manager Mike Scioscia said he does not feel the need to switch Garret Anderson to center field to add punch to a lineup that has struggled to produce without Erstad.

That could change if Erstad, out since April 19, has to miss more than another couple of weeks. Dr. Lewis Yocum, the Angels' medical director, did not provide a timetable for Erstad's return after examining him Tuesday.

Yocum said through a team official that the center fielder is showing progress while rehabilitating his injury in a swimming pool. Erstad took batting practice Tuesday for only the second time since being sidelined.

"The only activity I can't do is run, which is kind of important for what I got to do," Erstad said.

Erstad's primary replacements, Eric Owens and Jeff DaVanon, have been capable in the field -- DaVanon made a nice play ranging far to his left Tuesday to catch a fly ball hit by Shane Spencer -- but less than stellar at the plate, especially since Erstad went down.

Owens' average has dipped from .259 to .218 since Erstad last played. DaVanon is batting .217 since being promoted from triple-A Salt Lake on April 22.

"I could have gone out there and struggled too," said Erstad, who is hitting .333. "It's not like they're just going to step in and hit .800."

Moving Anderson from left to center would allow the Angels to put Scott Spiezio, Gary Johnson or minor leaguer Robb Quinlan in left, for a potentially more explosive lineup.

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Spiezio, among a group of Angels who attended the Mighty Ducks' Western Conference semifinal series-clinching victory over the Dallas Stars on Monday at Arrowhead Pond, said it's easier to play in a big playoff game than to watch one.

"When you're not in control of it, you tend to be a little more nervous," he said.

The Angels have jumped on the Duck bandwagon in much the same manner the Ducks did last year when the Angels made their stunning World Series run. Several Angels had worried that they wouldn't get to attend a Duck playoff game because of schedule conflicts -- until Monday.

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