Spring Training

AMERICAN LEAGUE

February 22, 1993

Angels: The injury to third baseman Kelly Gruber doesn't leave manager Buck Rodgers in a quandary about his starter. "Rene Gonzales is our third baseman, and it will stay that way," he said. "I'd rather have a healthy Rene Gonzales for my third baseman than a 60, 70 or 80 percent Kelly Gruber." Gonzales, a former Oriole, hit .277 with a career-high seven home runs last year. . . . The Angels have sold fewer than 11,000 season tickets, and officials concede that this will be their worst season-ticket base since 1979. The club needs 2.2 million fans to break even.

Athletics: Manager Tony La Russa is known for carrying a lot of pitchers. "It's kind of hard for me to see us under 11," he said. "I could see three or four non-roster guys making the club." Among the non-roster pitchers in camp are ex-Orioles Bob Milacki and Jeff Ballard.

Blue Jays: Pitcher Juan Guzman, a 16-game winner and American League All-Star in 1992, is seeking a multi-year contract. Guzman's agent, Jaime Torres, is in Florida talking with the Blue Jays. But Toronto management is standing firm on not giving long-term deals to players with less than three years of major-league service.

Brewers: Right-hander Ricky Bones, who strained his left hip during a fielding drill Saturday, was restricted in his activity yesterday. But Bones' injury is not considered serious and he was scheduled to throw off the mound today.

Indians: Bob Ojeda, 35, who went 6-9 with a 3.63 ERA in 29 starts last season with the Dodgers, says last season was the "most miserable" of his life. "At the end, I didn't care if I ever saw a glove, ball or cap again," he said. "Now, I feel like someone has shot me with adrenalin."

Mariners: Manager Lou Piniella is leaning toward third baseman Edgar Martinez as cleanup hitter, with Ken Griffey doing it occasionally against tough right-handed pitchers. He hasn't ruled out adding a right-handed bat during the spring but acknowledged, "We won't be adding to the payroll to do it."

Rangers: Pitcher Kenny Rogers was held out of Saturday running drills because of swelling in his right ankle. . . . Hector Fajardo, trying to recover from a sore right shoulder, threw for the first time off a mound. . . . Outfielder Juan Gonzalez is over the chickenpox. . . . The two most imposing sights in camp are pitchers Willie Smith, who stands 6 feet 6 and weighs 250 pounds, and ex-St. John's basketball player Terry Bross, 6-9 and 230 pounds. . . . Pitcher Danny Leon, who missed the first three workouts because of miscommunication, is to report tonight and practice tomorrow.

Red Sox: John Dopson won the final salary arbitration case of the year when Anthony Sinicropi awarded him $750,000, instead of the $485,000 offered by the club. Dopson, of Finksburg, was 7-11 last year with a 4.08 ERA and made $265,000. . . . Roger Clemens reported yesterday with the other pitchers. Last year, he showed up eight days after the club wanted him to.

Royals: Manager Hal McRae mentioned seven possible members the five-man rotation: right-handers Kevin Appier, David Cone, Mark Gubicza, Hipolito Pichardo and Mark Gardner and left-handers Chris Haney and Dennis Rasmussen. Rasmussen is ex-Oriole.

Tigers: Detroit will turn to Alan Trammell, 35, as a short-term solution in center field if Milt Cuyler's knee is not fully healed. Manager Sparky Anderson said he would use Trammell in center in the exhibition season but would look to trade for an established center fielder if Cuyler can't start the regular season.

Twins: During his first workout with the team, Dave Winfield, 42, fielded ground balls at first base and practiced flipping the balls to pitchers covering first base. He's expected to be a designated hitter and play some at first and in the outfield.

White Sox: The club, searching for a No. 2 starter, has talked with the Mariners about Randy Johnson. Chicago GM Ron Schueler downplayed rumors about a deal that would send George Bell and Wilson Alvarez to Seattle for Johnson. . . . Pitcher Dave Stieb denied reports of friction between him and Bell, another former Blue Jay. "Ninety-nine percent of the time, we had good rapport," Stieb said. "George likes to have fun and I like to have fun, and once or twice, we'd both go at it. I think it was blown out of proportion."

Yankees: Ex-Orioles minor-league pitcher Francisco de la Rosa, experiencing visa problems in the Dominican Republic, remains a no-show and is not expected in camp before today. . . . Manager Buck Showalter says he is impressed with Domingo Jean, 24, a right-hander who was 6-11 last year at Single-A Fort Lauderdale but had a 2.61 ERA and 172 strikeouts in 158 innings. "He's working on a forkball to go with his fastball and slider," Showalter said. "He has the perfect size hands to control the splitter."

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