Associated Press

Pitcher Neal Heaton, a member of the 1990 All-Star team, was among three players cut from the Pittsburgh Pirates' postseason roster.

Manager Jim Leyland also dropped pitcher Vicente Palacios and catcher Tom Prince as the Pirates began preparations for the National League playoffs against the Atlanta Braves.

Shortstop Tony Fernandez of the San Diego Padres will undergo surgery on his right thumb today. Fernandez hurt the thumb while he was with the Toronto Blue Jays and aggravated the injury in July, missing five games.

Fernandez missed the final seven games of the season because of a sore back.

Manager Cito Gaston of the Toronto Blue Jays spent two hours in a Minneapolis hospital with food poisoning.

Gaston was released at 5:30 a.m., about seven hours before the Blue Jays beat the Minnesota Twins, 3-2, in 10 innings in the final game of the regular season.

Earlier in the season, Gaston missed 33 games because of back and leg problems caused by a disk problem.

Outfielder Kirk Gibson will platoon in left field for the Kansas City Royals in 1992, Manager Hal McRae said. Gibson batted .236, onloy .197 against left-handers.

The Detroit Tigers announced that longtime third base coach Alex Grammas, batting coach Vada Pinson and Jim Davenport did not have their contracts renewed. First base coach Dick Tracewski will return for his 21st year in 1992. Also returning are dugout coach Billy Consolo and pitching coach Billy Muffett.

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