Dodger pitcher Orel Hershiser, who recently signed a $1.1-million contract for the 1988 season, underwent an emergency appendectomy Friday at Centinela Hospital Medical Center in Inglewood.
The Dodgers said that Hershiser will remain in the hospital for three or four days and perhaps report to Vero Beach, Fla., for spring training on Feb. 23, when the full squad is required to report. Hershiser originally was scheduled to travel to Vero Beach with other Dodger pitchers and catchers next Thursday.
Hershiser is not expected to begin pitching for three to four weeks, the Dodgers said. However, he is expected to be in the Dodgers’ starting rotation when the regular season begins in April. Dr. Jeffrey Hyde, who operated on Hershiser, said there were no complications during the surgery and that Hershiser can begin light workouts in a week.
The Dodgers also announced the signing of 11 players who have less than three years of major league experience and, thus, are not eligible for arbitration. Those signed are pitchers Shawn Hillegas, Tim Belcher, Brian Holton, William Brennan, Ramon Martinez and Mike Hartley, infielders Jeff Hamilton, Mike Sharperson and Juan Bell and outfielders Ralph Bryant and Mike Devereaux.
Salary figures were not released, but it is known that Hillegas (4-3 with a 3.57 earned-run average in 1987) signed for $78,000, and Hartley signed a split contract for the major league minimum of $62,500 and a $15,600 minor league contract.
Four players on the Dodgers’ 40-man roster--relief pitcher Tim Crews, outfielder Jose Gonzalez, infielder Craig Shipley and catcher Gilberto Reyes--remain unsigned.
“We’re certainly close to signing all those people,” Fred Claire, the Dodgers’ executive vice president, said Friday night. “Our goal is to have everyone signed before spring training.”