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Angels take a ride on DL merry-go-round

By BRANT JAMES

© St. Petersburg Times, published June 13, 2000


If the Anaheim Angels were charged per roster move, their disabled list activity could be enough to prompt a hike in ticket prices at Edison Field.

Tim Belcher, Ken Hill, Jason Dickson, Jarrod Washburn, Gary DiSarcina, Kent Mercker, Mark Petkovsek and Mike Colangelo have spent time on the DL, with each of their absences contributing in varying degrees to a 32-30 start.

Those injuries would have been dwarfed in importance had scary moments from third baseman Troy Glaus and closer Troy Percival this week turned out worse than they appeared.

Glaus, who leads the team in runs (50) and doubles (20), co-leads in home runs (18), and is batting .327, banged knees with Arizona first baseman Greg Colbrunn in Sunday's game. Backup Scott Spiezio ran out to man third base as Glaus was checked by a trainer, but Glaus eventually stood, jogged to his position and played the remaining seven innings.

Glaus deemed his consideration of coming out of the game as "none, zero."

So to was the reaction on Tuesday of Percival, who ranks third in the American League with 15 saves.

Percival followed through awkwardly in a ninth-inning appearance against San Francisco, convincing manager Mike Scioscia his closer was injured. The manager rushed to the mound but was talked out of making a move by Percival. The right-hander struck out the next two batters to finish the game.

Percival has 15 saves in 18 opportunities and a 3.00 earned-run average.

FOUR KEEPS: Angels management can either bemoan lost games from experienced pitchers or be thankful that a crew of rookies and Triple-A players including Scott Schoeneweis (5-4), Brian Cooper (2-2), Washburn (2-1) and Seth Etherton (0-1) has kept the team competitive.

Anaheim has struggled to keep starting pitchers healthy and effective, with notables Hill, Belcher and Dickson unable to pitch. Scioscia will need to keep one less healthy for a while, having gone to a four-man rotation until this weekend in Baltimore. Washburn (who starts Thursday), Schoeneweis, Etherton (who starts tonight) and Brian Cooper (Wednesday) will make up the staff until Saturday, when Belcher is scheduled to start in Baltimore. He had off-season elbow surgery and has not appeared in a big-league game since Sept. 14.

IN CHECK?: Angels outfielder Darin Erstad has hit most teams well, as an American League-leading .382 batting average attests. The Rays have held him somewhat in check at .310.

TAKING STOCKER: Former Devil Rays shortstop Kevin Stocker is not producing MVP numbers for Anaheim, six games after being signed on May 30, but he is making a contribution. Now the shortstop by default -- thanks to Benji Gil's .203 batting average and 13 errors -- Stocker has hit well enough from the No. 2 spot to allow Scioscia to drop scuttling second baseman Adam Kennedy lower in the batting order. Stocker, released by the Rays on May 26, is batting .217 but has put the ball in play well enough between Erstad and Mo Vaughn to keep the offense batting an AL-leading .293.

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