Spring Training / Padres : Hoyt’s New Look Is Still the Hot Topic Around Yuma

Times Staff Writer

A trimmed-down LaMarr Hoyt pitched two shutout innings in the first Padre intrasquad game of spring training Saturday afternoon.

Hoyt allowed two hits and struck out one batter--Steve Garvey.

“I was working on my fastball and changeups,” Hoyt said. “I was happy with my changeups, but I’m still not precise on location. To throw like I did, I feel fortunate they didn’t score.”

Hoyt said he has always been a good spring training pitcher. Until going 0-4 last spring, he said he had never lost a game in exhibition play.

Of course, the most pertinent topic concerning Hoyt continues to be his new trim look. He said he now weighs between 235 and 240 pounds, 30 pounds lighter than at his heaviest last year.

“I don’t feel like I have lost any strength while losing weight, which is amazing,” he said. “The thing that has bothered me is that I’m here to play baseball. I don’t get paid to look nice and maintain a weight. If I’m successful, no one can complain. I think (the weight) gets too much print. It has nothing to do with how successful of a pitcher I am.”

Both Carmelo Martinez and Kevin McReynolds were happy with the way they swung the bat in Saturday’s intrasquad game.

Martinez, nursing a bruised bone in his left hand, singled in four at-bats. McReynolds, coming off a broken left wrist, lined to center and walked in his only at-bats.

For the time being, McReynolds seems to be further along than Martinez.

“I’m playing to pain tolerance,” McReynolds said. “As of late, there hasn’t been any pain to speak of. It shouldn’t be any problem. There’s no reason to think I won’t be 100% by opening day.”

Martinez: “I was bothered a little bit, but not like before. It was about 40% a week ago. It bothered me every time I took a hack then. Now, I’d say I’m 85 to 90%. I’m not afraid to swing the bat now.”

Manager Dick Williams was pleased with the way both outfielders performed.

“It looked like they were swinging the bat all right,” Williams said. “Nothing seemed to faze either one of them.”

Williams is settled on the order of his first three batters for now. Alan Wiggins will lead off, Tony Gwynn will bat second and Garvey third.

McReynolds and Graig Nettles, who tied for the team lead with 20 home runs in 1984, may share the cleanup spot. Nettles would bat fourth against right-handed pitchers and McReynolds would hit in that spot against left-handers when Jerry Royster platoons with Nettles at third base.

“When Nettles plays against right-handed pitchers, he’ll probably bat cleanup,” Williams said. “That’s his forte. He won’t hit for an average, but he’ll hit home runs. If McReynolds’ wrist is all right, he’ll more than likely bat there when Nettles doesn’t start.”

In 1984, Williams thought McReynolds lacked the experience to bat cleanup. But a full season in the majors for McReynolds has changed that.

Goose Gossage was not very impressive in Saturday’s intrasquad game, allowing one run and four hits in two innings.

However, when Gossage reached back for his last pitch of the day, he blew a fastball past Joe Lansford.

“The last pitch is the only one he threw hard,” Williams said. “And he threw the heck out of it.”

Coach Harry Dunlop’s team beat the team of Coach Deacon Jones, 7-5, in the intrasquad game.

George Hinshaw gave the Jones Team an early lead with a three-run triple off Keefe Cato in the top of the fourth inning. But the Dunlop Team had a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth from Bruce Bochy, then it scored six runs off Greg Booker in the fifth.

The bottom of the fifth ended after Al Bumbry hit an apparent triple to center field but was called out for missing second base.

Coach Ozzie Virgil, a member of Dunlop’s staff, had his first heated argument of the spring with an umpire on the play. He was upset when the home plate umpire counted only one of the two runs that scored on Bumbry’s hit.

Williams stepped in to settle the argument.

“Ozzie, don’t worry about it,” Williams said. “We’ll count both runs.”

Unlike during the regular season, Williams had the final say over an umpire. But he was overruling a Yuma youth baseball umpire, not a National League umpire.

Padre Notes

Terry Kennedy did not catch in Saturday’s intrasquad game because of a tight lower back. However, Dick Williams said Kennedy will catch in this afternoon’s intrasquad game. . . . General Manager Jack McKeon said everything is quiet on the trade front for now. “We don’t have particular needs,” he said, “but we would like to improve ourselves if we could. The type of guys we’re looking for are not available. Once you start playing exhibition games and injuries come up, you might have something happen.”