Collins Wants Edmonds Injury-Free Next Year

Terry Collins has set at least one goal for the 1998 season.

"Jim Edmonds needs to play 150 games healthy," Collins said. "This guy plays 150 games and we're a lot better team."

No kidding. In 131 games this season, Edmonds is hitting .290 with 26 home runs and 80 runs batted in. Add to that several circus catches in the outfield.

But a variety of injuries have slowed him for the second consecutive season, including a strained lower rib cage that put him on the disabled list.

He will have surgery on both knees after the season.

"We'd ask him if he could play and he'd say, 'Yeah, I can go out there,' " Collins said. "But there is a difference between going out there and getting the job done.

"As soon as the doctors tell us it's OK, we want Jim to start working to get his legs in shape. That has to be the No. 1 thing on his mind. That will be the start of Jim Edmonds playing 150 games."

Collins said that all players will have their workouts monitored more closely this off-season.

"We want everybody to have their legs in shape from the start," Collins said.

"A lot of guys come to camp, then get their legs in shape. That's why there are a lot of pulled muscles in spring training."


Has Dave Hollins found a home at first base?

Fans who received souvenir baseballs, courtesy of Hollins' wild throws from third base, may not like to hear it, but Collins said is open to the idea.

"The way Dave has played at first, its something to look at," Collins said.

Hollins has 29 errors at third base this season.

He has played first base the last two weeks to rest his knees.

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