Angel Notebook : Sore Shoulders Are Making the Rotation

Times Staff Writer

These days, you're not a certified member of the California Angel bullpen unless you have a sore or suspect pitching shoulder.

Right-hander Stewart Cliburn is coming off arthroscopic surgery, and Donnie Moore considered the same operation before trying to revive his right shoulder through weightlifting.

And now, Gary Lucas, whose previous physical problems had been restricted to his lower back, has been forced out of the regular pitching alignment because of discomfort in his left rotator cuff.

Lucas had complained of soreness in the shoulder for several days and labored through two sloppy innings in Tucson Sunday. He allowed five hits, a walk and three earned runs--leaving his spring earned-run average at 13.50 after two outings.

Monday, the Angels announced that Lucas would be put on a rehabilitative program and would have his shoulder re-examined when the club arrives in Palm Springs Friday.

"The whole shoulder complex needs to be strengthened," said Angel trainer Ned Bergert. To accomplish that, Bergert said, Lucas will begin workouts with light dumbbells and isometric exercises. After that, Lucas will resume the rehabilitation routine so familiar to him last season--first, long toss on the sideline, then pitching in the bullpen, then a return to game competition.

"By the first part of next week, we should have a better handle on where he is," Bergert said.

Angel Manager Gene Mauch said: "His arm is not the way he wants it, but he'll be all right. He might pitch in a couple of days."

Then again, he may not, and Mauch admitted to being glad that three weeks remained before opening day.

"We've got three shoulders to take care of," he said. "We're kind of taking care of two of them (Moore and Cliburn) ourselves. Time will take care of the other one."

Eleven days into the Angels' exhibition schedule, Kirk McCaskill made his first start of the spring. He pitched three innings, allowed one single, one run, struck out two and was credited with the victory in the Angels' 15-2 rout of the Chicago Cubs.

Maybe he should walk out of camp more often.

"No, I don't want to do that again," McCaskill said with a grin.

"That might have looked good, but I'm still a couple of innings away from being real consistent."

McCaskill said his curveball "felt as good as it's going to get--I'll take that the rest of the year." But he was displeased with his control of the fastball.

"I need to get better location with the fastball," he said. "But that will come. I just need to get some innings in."

The National League Cubs were the host team for Monday's game, which meant no designated hitters for either team. Angel pitchers got a rare chance to bat--and they were quick to get into the act, with both Moore and Ray Chadwick contributing RBI singles.

Moore pitched the bottom of the fourth, yielding a solo home run to Leon Durham, and had to bat in the top of the fifth to get in another inning's worth of work. Moore got his hit off Dennis Eckersley, driving in Jack Howell, then later came around to score on a single by Devon White.

"That's my running for the day," Moore said.

So, Donnie, what pitch did you hit?

"A sinker, in on the fists," Moore said. "I was trying to go deep, like Durham, but (Eckersley) got the ball in too much."

Durham was the only baserunner Moore allowed in two innings. It was his second outing of the spring and, again, he reported no pain in his shoulder.

"I think I'm throwing with a lot better control than at the end of last year," he said. "Back then, I was rearing back and throwing, hoping it would go somewhere. Boonie (catcher Bob Boone) would set up inside and I'd throw outside. But I'm moving the ball around pretty good now."

Angel Notes

Mark Ryal made the final out in four consecutive innings Monday. Ryal's double-play ball ended the fourth inning before the Angels batted around in the fifth, sixth and seventh. In each of those, he made the third out. . . . Ryal was playing in place of Wally Joyner, who was scratched from the lineup after aggravating a sore right hamstring in Sunday's game in Tucson. "It's been bothering me since Yuma, about a week and a half," Joyner said. "I think what did it was not doing anything for eight innings (Sunday) and then running out that double in the ninth." The injury is not considered serious. . . . The Angels totaled 19 hits in their third victory of the spring. Butch Wynegar went 3 for 3 with 2 RBIs, Doug DeCinces was 3 for 4 and Devon White had three singles and three RBIs in seven at-bats. "It'd be nice if White would get a hit every once in a while," Manager Gene Mauch quipped. White is currently batting .408 and leads the Angels in RBIs with nine, and stolen bases with four. . . . Don Sutton pitched five shutout innings in the B game, a 5-1 Angel victory over San Diego.

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