DiSarcina, Rose Will Be Starters in Angel Infield

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Citing Gary DiSarcina's progress, Angel Manager Buck Rodgers said Monday that DiSarcina will replace Dick Schofield as the starting shortstop this season.

Second baseman Bobby Rose, DiSarcina's double-play partner in the minor leagues, will flank DiSarcina in the revamped infield, replacing Luis Sojo.

"We're gambling on two aggressive personalities," Rodgers said. "That's why I think the gamble is a minimum, and I think it's more of a minimum when you see the year Dick's coming off of."

Schofield, the starter for eight seasons, batted .225 last season, reducing his career average to .232. That opened the door for DiSarcina, 24, who batted .310 for triple-A Edmonton.

Rodgers said he plans to keep Schofield and Sojo as reserves, but Schofield already has asked to be traded.

"I don't want to be a backup, and I think they understand that," he said. "Whenever it can be discussed, fine. Until then, every time I put this uniform on, I'm going to go out there and try to win. . . .

"I don't think you're prepared for this. You kind of know something's going on, but I was never sure 100%. If I get traded, I'd have to sit back and think about it, but I just pictured myself starting. If I'm here opening day and I'm not starting, it'll be kind of a weird feeling."

Whitey Herzog, the Angels' senior vice president for player personnel, said he would try to accommodate Schofield's trade request.

"I'm trying everything I can, but I'm not going to give him away," Herzog said. " . . . He ain't going to be happy sitting, and I know that."

DiSarcina said he was unsure of his status until Rodgers told him before Monday's game.

"It's hard to enjoy because of the person that was there," he said of Schofield. "He was the first guy to congratulate me, and I was speechless when Dick did that. I think I played up to my ability. I didn't want to win it because of Dick not being here--I wanted to earn it."

Rose, who batted .298 for Edmonton and .277 in 22 games with the Angels last season, feared the worst when Rodgers asked to speak to him and DiSarcina Monday morning.

"He told us he'd made a decision, and I just put my head down because I thought it would be another demotion to Edmonton," Rose said. "When he told me, it was the best thing I've ever heard."

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