Joe Magrane, who underwent arthroscopic elbow surgery Feb. 8, will make his season debut tonight against the New York Yankees. Although he pitched Saturday for triple-A Vancouver, the Angels are bringing him back one day early to face the primarily left-handed Yankee lineup.
“I feel I let the club down,” said Magrane, who’s guaranteed $3 million through 1995, and is eligible to earn $9.3 million over three years. “They put a lot of faith in me, and I got hurt. That’s why I want to bust my (butt) for them.
“I also have re-appreciation of the game now. Let’s face it, this is one of the most exclusive men’s clubs in the country, and you can’t buy your way in.
“I’ve missed that.”
Angel pitcher Mark Langston is progressing so quickly from his April 12 elbow surgery that he is planning on returning to the starting rotation May 13-15 against the Seattle Mariners.
Langston said he threw without pain for 75 pitches Tuesday. He is scheduled to throw lightly Thursday, then pitch a simulated game Sunday morning.
If all goes well, Dr. Lewis Yocum agrees there is no reason Langston can’t pitch against the Mariners.
“Today was a big day for me for turning it up a notch,” Langston said. “I didn’t throw 100% (velocity), but I got close. It’s a tremendous relief for me.”
Former Angel left fielder Luis Polonia, after seeing the hole at Anaheim Stadium caused by the Northridge earthquake: “That thing cost $10 million? They could have paid me that.”
Polonia, who signed a two-year, $3-million contract with the New York Yankees, went to the Angel bench before the game and planted a kiss on 92-year-old coach Jimmie Reese’s cheek, telling him how much he missed him.
Polonia says he doesn’t accept the juiced-ball theory.
“They say the ball’s juiced,” Polonia said, “but if it is, why don’t I have five to 10 homers?”
Polonia has hit more than two homers only once, in 1987, when he had four. That was the last season that the ball was “juiced.”
Angel left-handed reliever Ken Patterson underwent elbow surgery Tuesday and will be sidelined for at least a year, Yocum said.
Patterson suffered a severed ligament April 24 while pitching against the Boston Red Sox. Yocum transplanted a ligament from his right wrist to the elbow.
The Major League Players Assn. is expected to issue a strike date to the owners, providing a 60-day notice. . . . Angel center fielder Chad Curtis and his wife, Candace, became parents for the first time Monday when seven-pound, eight-ounce Corazon Elizabeth was born. . . . The Angels pushed Mark Leiter back two days in the rotation, and he will now start Saturday, allowing rookie Brian Anderson to pitch on his fifth day.