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Edmonds Likely to Play Sunday

With all that has engulfed the Angels the last two weeks, outfielder Jim Edmonds’ status has become less of an issue. He probably will play Sunday, his first game in the majors this season.

Edmonds, who has played four games during a rehabilitation assignment with Class-A Lake Elsinore, tried to convince Manager Terry Collins to put him in the lineup Friday. Instead, Collins wanted Edmonds to hit in the batting cages. The two then met with Dr. Lewis Yocum.

“They want me to play one more game [with Lake Elsinore] to see how it is,” said Edmonds, who had shoulder surgery on April 19. “If everything goes well, I’ll play here on Sunday.”

Edmonds has seven hits in 15 at-bats with Lake Elsinore. He said his shoulder was a little tender after the first game, but otherwise was fine. He has yet to play in the field, as he has been used at designated hitter.

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“That’s the deal I made with the doctor when I went to Lake Elsinore,” Edmonds said. “The impression I got was they wanted me to be real careful. I said, ‘How about I DH?’ He said, ‘Go ahead.’ The risk factor is when I play in the field.”

Edmonds will continue in that role with the Angels and Garret Anderson will remain in center field.

“That could change,” Edmonds said. “If they need an outfielder, we’ll see what happens.”

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Reaction in the Angel clubhouse to Randy Velarde and Omar Olivares being traded to Oakland was guarded.

“Anything is possible,” said Anderson, who has been the subject of trade rumors in the past. “The only way I can deal with it is to keep my mind on the field. That’s something I’ve learned to do over the years.”

That Olivares was traded did not come as a surprise, but Velarde leaving was something most hadn’t considered. He had been the team’s most consistent hitter this season.

“The days of me commenting about players or trades or what the front office does are over,” shortstop Gary DiSarcina said. “I am just going to go out there and enjoy my time left playing baseball.”

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DiSarcina did say that it was difficult to see Velarde go because of the inspiration he brought to the clubhouse. Velarde missed much of the last two seasons after having reconstructive surgery on his right elbow in 1997.

“I’m disappointed that I didn’t have the chance to play with him more the last four years because of our injuries,” said DiSarcina, who missed 2 1/2 months this season because of a broken bone in his left forearm. “You have to admire anyone who comes back from the Tommy John surgery, especially someone who is up there in age.

“He really helped me come back from my injury. All I had to do was look at the scar [on Velarde’s elbow] to realize my injury was not nearly as serious.”

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The Angels recalled outfielder/designated hitter Todd Greene from triple-A Edmonton to bring their roster to 25. Greene was hitting .243 with five home runs in 19 games with the Trappers. The Angels recalled shortstop Andy Sheets late Thursday.

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The same place. The same ploy. A different result.

Angel pitcher Ken Hill pulled off the fake-to-third, throw-to-first play Friday. He caught the Twins’ Chad Allen at first base in the second inning.

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In the Angels’ last home game, reliever Mark Petkovsek tried the same pickoff move, only to have the ball slip from his hand and roll into foul territory. San Diego’s Carlos Baerga came home with the winning run in a 2-1 Padre victory.

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Relief pitcher Mike James, who is trying to come back from elbow and shoulder surgery, met with Yocum Friday and was cleared to begin a rehabilitation assignment with Lake Elsinore today. . . . Outfielder Matt Luke, recovering from a back injury, suffered a sprained left wrist when he tripped and fell while working out with the Lake Elsinore team Thursday. . . . To take Olivares’ turn in the rotation, the Angels will probably start Steve Sparks Sunday.

TONIGHT

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ANGELS’ CHUCK FINLEY (5-9, 5.68 ERA)

vs.

TWINS’ ERIC MILTON (3-8, 5.30 ERA)

Edison Field, 7

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TV--Fox Sports West Radio--KLAC (570), XPRS (1090)

* Update--The Angels’ nose dive has left closer Troy Percival with little to do. He has one save this month and that came July 9 at Colorado. He has made four appearances since. His only other save opportunity was on July 25, when he gave up a ninth-inning home run to Albert Belle that tied the score. The Angels lost, 8-7, in 11 innings.

* Tickets--(714) 663-9000.


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