Pirates' Gibson OKs reserve role National League notes

March 13, 1992

Kirk Gibson will accept a role with the Pittsburgh Pirates that he didn't want with the Kansas City Royals -- backup.

Gibson, 34, staged a one-day walkout from Kansas City camp last week after learning he wouldn't be a regular player. He then asked to be traded and was dealt to the Pirates on Tuesday for left-handed pitcher Neal Heaton.

"My reaction with Kansas City came basically because they told me I was not going to be given the chance to prove I could still help the club on a regular basis," Gibson said. "I've been told by Pittsburgh that I will be given an opportunity to prove what I can do. That's all I want."

The starting outfield appears set with Barry Bonds in left field, Andy Van Slyke in center and Orlando Merced in right, but manager Jim Leyland said Gibson will contribute.

"I'll find him some at-bats," Leyland said. "I can move Merced into first base, play Gibson in right and give Jeff King a rest. I can use Gibson in the outfield to give one of the starters there a rest."

Gibson has been a starter throughout his 12-year career. He has a .269 average with 208 home runs, 696 RBI and 253 stolen bases. Last season, he hit .236 with 16 homers, 55 RBI and 18 steals in 132 games.

* METS: Dwight Gooden threw 52 pitches in a simulated game andmay pitch in a "B" game this weekend. Gooden is recovering from September shoulder surgery to repair a partially torn right rotator cuff.

"I was impressed with what I saw," manager Jeff Torborg said. "He popped the ball and really had a good breaking pitch and change."

Meanwhile, a New York woman has filed a complaint here that she was sexually assaulted a year ago by three unidentified members of the team, St. Lucie, Fla., police said.

* MARLINS: The club announced its season-ticket plan for 1993. Prices, averaging $8.77, are projected to be 20th lowest among the current major-league teams and 22nd by 1993.

* CARDINALS: Left-hander Mike Milchin suffered a broken toe when he was hit by a line drive Tuesday. He is expected to be out about a week.

* BRAVES: Right-hander Pete Smith, who has spent much of the last two years on the disabled list or on rehabilitation assignments, will compete with Mike Bielecki (Dundalk) for the fifth spot in the starting rotation, manager Bobby Cox said.

* PHILLIES: Outfielder Ruben Amaro, a throw-in in the deal that sent Von Hayes to the Angels and a batboy for the 1980 world champion Phillies, is 6-for-13.

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