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MRI Ordered for Percival

June 03, 2004|Bill Shaikin

One day after the latest in a series of erratic outings by Troy Percival, the Angels ordered an MRI examination for the right elbow of their closer Wednesday.

Percival acknowledged he has pitched despite inflammation and swelling in the elbow for the last several weeks, with further diagnosis pending a clinical examination and review of test results today by Dr. Lewis Yocum, the Angels' medical director.

Percival blew three of his final six save opportunities in May and nearly blew his first in June, giving up two runs in Tuesday's 7-6 victory. His earned run average is 5.09, with 11 walks and 10 strikeouts in 17 2/3 innings, and opponents are hitting .301 against him. He said he has adjusted his delivery to compensate for elbow discomfort, with poor results.

"I'm a better pitcher than what I've shown," he said. "You don't just forget how to pitch after nine years."

Francisco Rodriguez, the heir apparent to Percival, earned the save Wednesday, and Manager Mike Scioscia said Rodriguez would be "the point man" in the bullpen, with Scot Shields and Kevin Gregg also available to close.

Percival, 34, has been on the disabled list in each of the past two years and three of the past four. Scioscia said he did not anticipate Percival would require a stint on the disabled list, and Percival said he believed he could pitch tonight if needed.

-- Bill Shaikin

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