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BASEBALL
Peter Gammons
June 20, 1988
SCHOTT IN THE DARK
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June 20, 1988

Baseball

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PITCHER UP
On Saturday New York Yankees manager Billy Martin made pitcher Rick Rhoden his designated hitter, batting seventh ahead of Rafael Santana and Joel Skinner. Martin wanted to use righthanded batters against Baltimore Orioles lefthander Jeff Ballard, and because Rickey Henderson, Don Mattingly and Willie Randolph were sidelined, the only every-day player available was catcher Bob Geren, who doesn't have a major league hit. It was the first time a pitcher ever started a game as DH and the first time Rhoden had batted since Sept. 30, 1986. He responded by hitting a game-tying sacrifice fly in his second plate appearance as New York won 8-6. Yankee batters shouldn't be insulted, though. Rhoden's .239 lifetime average is higher than that of teammates Skinner, Geren, Mike Pagliarulo, Bobby Meacham and Jay Buhner.

BEYOND MATTINGLY?

Montreal Expos first baseman Andres Galarraga has risen to the top of the National League in hitting (.335 average) and homers (16), and Toronto's top scout Al LaMacchia predicts he "will be one of the three most dominant players in the game in a year or so. He's not just a big, strong hitter; he's the best defensive first baseman in the game. Guys like Don Mattingly and Keith Hernandez are very, very good, but Galarraga is in a class by himself."...

White Sox general manager Larry Himes is still riding out the storm for trading his three top starting pitchers after last season: Floyd Bannister, Richard Dotson and Jose DeLeon. From those deals he now has one starter, Melido Perez, who was 5-2 at week's end, and one outfielder. Dan Pasqua, who was hitting .231 with five homers and a strikeout every 3.8 at bats. " Pasqua's a one-speed hitter, and it's a slider, at that," says one general manager....

Times are so hard for Angels manager Cookie Rojas that when the team signed journeyman Thad Bosley to a Triple A contract, Rojas called it "the best news I've heard in two months."

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

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