Neagle's Hometown Big-league Debut Thrown A Curve

Pitcher's Return To Minors Prevents Appearance Against Orioles

August 22, 1991|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,Staff writer

It would have been his first trip to the hometown area as a major-leaguer, but pitcher Denny Neagle of Gambrills won't be coming to Baltimore this weekend when the Minnesota Twins play the Baltimore Orioles.

The West Division leaders close out their current homestand tonight against the Seattle Mariners and will leave for Baltimore withoutArundel High's Neagle.

"Unfortunately for Denny and others back there in Baltimore, he won't be making the trip with the Twins. He's going back to AAA Portland (Thursday)," said Steve Rousch of the Twins' public relations department.

"The ballclub is bringing somebody up from Portland to take his place."

Neagle was called up to the majors on Thursday, July25, and started his first big-league game July 27 against the Milwaukee Brewers in the Twins' Metrodome. His first big-league game was one to remember and to forget.

Pitching into the fourth inning with a 4-2 lead, Neagle was hit on his left throwing elbow by a line shot off the bat of the Brewers' Candy Maldonado. The 6-foot-4, 205-pound Neagle came out of the game with a severely bruised elbow and a couple of days later was placed on the 15-day disabled list.

It was first thought when Neagle was able to pitch again that he would go back to the AAA Portland Beavers, but the club kept him with the Twins. Since his return, Neagle has been used in long relief and has not pitched that well or that much.

"They're sending me down to get more work, and they want to go with the more experienced pitchers in the playoffs," said Neagle, who took his demotion well.

"I understand what they're doing and look forward to coming back up in September and helping the club make the playoffs."

Players on the big-league roster before Sept. 1 are eligible for postseason play, while those brought up in September when major-league clubs can expand are not.

Neagle found out Tuesday night that he was going to the minors with fellow rookie Willie Banks. Banks was sent down yesterday with Allan Anderson recalled, and Neagle goes down today with another veteran comingup to take his place.

"It was a big disappointment for the family, but we know what's going on. And Denny told us that they wanted themore experienced pitchers for the playoffs if they make it," said Denny's brother Doug, who is on a tennis scholarship at Towson State University.

Neagle was 8-3 at Portland before being called up to theparent club.

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