St. Louis Post-Dispatch from St. Louis, Missouri on August 11, 1990 · Page 33
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch from St. Louis, Missouri · Page 33

St. Louis, Missouri
Issue Date:
Saturday, August 11, 1990
Page 33
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. SATURDAY, AUGUST 11, 1990 . 5C SPORTS BASEBALL GOLF ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH MINOR-LEAGUE REPORT PGA NOTEBOOK Move To Starts To For Jays MIKE EISENBATH NOTEBOOK t- Jason Townley had started to wonder jf,;he had made a big mistake. The Toronto Blue Jays selected Townley as a high school prospect in the seventh round of the June 1987 draft? He had excelled in high school as a-ipitcher and hitter; he said he liked hitting better. Toronto thus turned Townley into a catcher. ' "I 'Had never caught before in my life;" Townley said. "They said I had a strong arm, though, and thought that would) be a good position for me. I didg'Lknow what I was doing. And I was abad catcher." Fb'sthree seasons, Townley languished. Even his once-splendid batting-stroke disappeared. He had a cumulative .209 average in those three seasons, including a .213 mark and 42 strikeouts in 155 at-bats last season at Class A Dunedin, Fla. He had only 13 totariiomers in those three seasons. How times have changed for Town-ley Still with Dunedin, he was the batter of the week in the Florida State League last week. He had 11 hits in 20 at-bats, including two doubles, four homers and 16 runs batted in. The highlight of the week for Townley, 21, came in a victory over Miami a single, a double, two homers and eight RBIs. "I don't know how that happened," Townley said. "It seemed like every time I came up, it was an RBI situation. Every pitch seemed like it was a fastball and up." Life is looking up all around for Townley. He has a .294 batting average, 10 homers and 53 RBIs. "This year has turned around a lot of things," Townley said. "I'm only 21, but I think Toronto was about to give up onme. I was even thinking about goingiack to pitching if this didn't work out." Townley was a stranger to offensive struggle. He said he batted .539 his senior year in high school in Pensaco-la, Fla. But within a month after being drafted, his pro average was below .200.,- "Learning how to be a catcher took a lot Mt of my offense," Townley said. "No'tfl kind of have an idea of what I'm doing behind the plate, and I'm more comfortable. I think I'm a lot happier this year. I come to the park At 6-8, Hockey Veteran Has High Aspirations As Pitcher By Mike Eisenbath Of (hflfost-Dispatch Staff trl past Jeff Juden on the street, and immediately thoughts of basketball and slam dunks come to mind. "Nff one ever says, 'Oh, gosh, you must be a baseball player,' " Juden saiu'.'No one says, 'I'll bet you play hockey.' They always assume I play basketball." Ji$en's 6-foot-8 stature explains the stares and stiff necks. That also might explain why he has been such a stand-out:rbaseball so far in his career although Juden, a Houston Astros prospect, says he wouldn't know. "jy$ybe my size does help me," Juden said. "I don't know for sure. I've never.been small, so I don't have anything compare it to." Juden, 19, hasn't been a baseball prosHfect that long, either, at least not compared to the amount of time he spenfcas a devoted hockey player. He hactbeen playing hockey for 14 seasons in his native Salem, Mass., before entertaining his first thoughts of a pro baseball career. Within two years, Juden was regarded as one of the top pitching prospects: in the country. Houston chose Juden-out of high school in the first round of last year's draft; he was the 12 to selection overall after compiling a M record and 0.18 earned-run average bis senior season at Salem High. Ju'ifpn, a righthander, hasn't dominated pro batters quite the same way. But iie still is one of baseball's top pitching prospects. He started this season at Osceola in the Class A Florida State'teague and did make those bat PGA Frontpage one ultjjaately lost to Calcavecchia in a playoff. H used to think about it, but I don't anymore," he said. Acjjjally, none of the four majors has been particularly kind to Grady. He missed the cut at both this year's British Open and U.S. Open and tied for"27th at the Masters. Of course, you wouldn't have known it Friday when Grady recorded only one bogey during the round. "XC& one of my better rounds, be-causpf the conditions," he said. Grady was referring not only to the rough, but to th sometimes-hard, Catcher Pay Off Prospect ready to play rather than scared to play." Injury? What Injury? Randy Powers severed the ring finger on his right hand, his pitching hand, in a construction accident in 1988. Doctors thought he might never pitch again. Those doubters were terribly wrong. Powers was the pitcher of the week in the Class A Northwest League last week after throwing back-to-back shutouts for Boise, Idaho, (California affiliate). He struck out 26 and allowed only eight hits in the games. Powers, 6 feet 4, walked on to the Southern Cal baseball team and became one of the team's top pitchers before cutting off the top third of his finger. He rebounded from reconstructive surgery, earned All-Pacific 10 Conference honors this season and was selected in the seventh round of this summer's draft. He has a 6-1 record and 1.87 ERA for Boise. Power Outage: Do the Cardinals' have any home run prospects in their farm system? A few, but the numbers don't show it. The organization's home run leader is outfielder Cliff Brannon, who has 14 homers but a .234 batting average at Class A Savannah, Ga. First baseman Joey Fernandez has 12 homers for Class AA Arkansas. Outfielder Juan Belbru has nine homers in only 148 at-bats for Class A Hamilton, Ontario. . Gray beard: Jerry Reuss is getting a fresh look. After a long career in the big leagues, he has been shuffling around the minors trying to earn another major-league roster spot. He seems to have found a niche with Buffalo (Class AAA, Pittsburgh) after being named the pitcher of the week in the American Association last week. Reuss pitched in relief his first five appearances for the Bisons, but he has started four successive times. Last week, he didn't allow an earned run in back-to-back seven-inning starts. He allowed only 10 hits and one walk in the two victories. Reuss went eight innings in the first game of a Friday doubleheader and defeated the Omaha Royals 2-0. He gave up five hits four on the infield and walked no one while stretching his consecutive scoreless string to 24 innings. Pitching Rich: The Shreveport Captains (San Francisco affiliate) won the first-half title in the Eastern Division of the Class AA Texas League. The Jackson Mets lead the second-half race, 4l2 games ahead of Shreveport. When the teams meet in the playoffs, expect some well-pitched games; the league's top seven pitchers play ters look rather like little leaguers. He had a 10-1 record and 2.27 ERA in 15 starts before a promotion to Columbus, Ga., in the Class AA Southern League. The Southern League has been tougher. He has a 1-3 record and 4.57 ERA, though his last two starts have been much improved. "I feel a lot of pressure right now in Double-A," Juden said. "That's why I made some adjustments I shouldn't have made when I got here. I was dominating in the Florida State League, then I got here and had a little trouble. So I started doing some different things and got in worse trouble. "Really, the hitters aren't that much better here. I'll be all right." Juden still is learning much about baseball. In fact, he regards last year as a learning experience from the minute he was drafted, both on the field and off. "I've never been to a baseball clinic in my whole life," he said. "God-given ability got me here. I still have a lot to learn, and that makes me think I can get a lot better." Juden had his goals almost solely in hockey until he transferred from a private school to Salem's public high school as a sophomore. He said the pressures of keeping up his grades and maintaining his hockey abilities were too much in the prep school atmosphere. He found baseball opportunity at Salem High. He first attracted scouts' attention when he won his team's first game in the state tournament as a sophomore, then gained national sometimes-soft greens. But all in all, Grady considered the course "an excellent layout" He'll get little argument from Couples or Mize. Couples called Shoal Creek "a great, great course," and Mize said, "I like it this way." Couples retired his driver for most of the day, relying instead on placement and patience, not exactly his hallmarks. In short, "Boom Boom," as Couples is called on the Tour, turned to dink-dink golf. Known for ballistic drives, Couples decided to treat the course with care and respect "I'm not out there having a picnic," he said. "But my attitude is if I bit in the rough, which I'm going to do, then don't worry about it I know a lot of people don't care for the rough, but it's not going anywhere. There's nothing you can do about it" It is fir that reason that Couples tr - 14 v Juan Gonzalez 27 home runs Batting: Lopez, Abq. 365 Home Runs: Gonzalez, Ukla. City . . 27 Runs Batted In: Dodd, Calgary ... 101 Stolen Bases: Offerman, Abq. . .... 59 ERA: Hammond, Las Vegas . . . 2.21 Wins: Eiland, Columbus 15 Strikeouts: Hammond, Las Vegas 131 Saves: Perez, Louisville 26 for one of those two teams. Anthony Young of Jackson paces Texas League pitchers with a 13-3 record and 1.92 ERA. St. Louisan Mike Miller, also with Jackson, is 7-6 but has a 2.87 ERA and has allowed only 133 baserunners (walks plus hits allowed) in 129 innings. And keep an eye on Shreveport's Steve Lienhard. He has a-5-5 record and 2.02 ERA in relief, with only 27 walks in 98 innings. Local Line: Rodney Lofton, of East St. Louis High, recently was promoted to Rochester, N.Y., (Class AAA, Baltimore affiliate). A shortstop, Lofton had a .251 batting average, 28 runs batted in and 21 stolen bases at Class ' AA Hagerstown, Md. He went to Rochester on Monday to replace shortstop Jeff McKnight, who had been promoted to Baltimore. Bus Tour: The future looks bright for Seattle prospect Tino Martinez. A first baseman, Martinez has a .328 batting average, 15 homers and 88 runs batted in for Class AAA Calgary Designated hitter Matt Stark is terrorizing the Southern League. Stark, with Birmingham, Ala. (Class AA, White Sox affiliate), has a .300 batting average, 14 homers and a league-leading 94 RBIs. . . . Aaron Holbert, a high schooler picked in the first round of this year's June draft by the Cardinals, is struggling in the rookie Appalachian League. Holbert, a shortstop, is batting .173, has 14 RBIs in 29 games, has been caught stealing five times in eight attempts and has committed 13 errors for Johnson City, Tenn. . . . Tracking Cris Carpenter: The Cardinals pitching prospect is 8-6, has a 3.85 ERA, has allowed 115 hits, 18 walks and has 83 strikeouts in 115 innings at Class AAA Louisville. . . . Righthander Dave Eiland, 23, is 15-3 with a 2.80 ERA in the International League for Columbus, Ohio, (Class AAA, Yankees affiliate). He has pitched 151 innings, allowing 132 hits and only 28 walks. prominence when he went undefeated as a junior and led Salem to another state tournament. The stats his senior season proved incredible: 76 innings pitched, 17 hits allowed, 158 strikeouts, 28 walks. He accepted a scholarship to the University of Miami, but the Astros' offer was much more tempting. "Pitching in school was different, though," Juden said. "Now I have to realize that what I'm doing is my career. I'm still having fun, but it's not just a game for fun alone. "Like, it's not near as fun here in Columbus as it was in Osceola. But I'm not worried about my night life. I have to remember what I'm here for." Juden's fastball was moving in the upper 80 to lower 90 mph range in Osceola. He hasn't cracked the 90-mph barrier yet in AA. He can throw his curveball for strikes whenever he wants, he said, but his changeup needs work. He will put in the work. "My work habits are good," he said. "I think I learned a lot from hockey and the strict training we had in that sport. I'll do what it takes to get to the big leagues. "And, yeah, I think about the big leagues. I'm sure everyone down here thinks about it. I know I'm in a good situation, with the Houston pitching the way it Is. I'd like to start next season in Double-A and have a fair amount of confidence. Then, I can start looking up." said the scores will continue to be on the high side. "I don't believe there will be a lot of scores in the 60s," he said. ' Stewart remains within striking distance of the lead, and for the first time this week, he didn't go out of his way to rip the rough. However, he did take about a 2-foot chunk of Bermuda grass out of the ground after "malfunctioning" an easy sand-wedge shot on No. 11. "My daughter would have said, 'Daddy, that wasn't very nice,' " Stewart said. "But I did replace the huge divot." Stewart played better after the temper tantrum. In fact he said he liked his chances to repeat as PGA champion. "Good scores can be played here," he said. Grady proved that much. B. Wadkins' Second Revives Unpleasant By The Associated Press BIRMINGHAM, Ala. In 16 years on the PGA Tour, Bobby Wadkins has earned $1.7 million without ever once picking up a winner's check. "I know I haven't won," he said Friday at the PGA Championship. "Whenever I get an early lead, people start talking about it." Wadkins heard the talk again after an opening-round 68 gave him the lead. But he had problems on Friday, making five bogeys and finishing with a 75. He remained in contention with a 143 total, however. "I think the most .disappointing thing was 18. 1 was working so hard all day to make par, then I three-putted," Wadkins said. - "Maybe Las too anxious today, trying too hard to make things happen." Unlike his older brother, Lanny, who has won 19 tournaments, Bobby Wadkins never has finished higher than second in a Tour event. He's lost two playoffs in 1985 to Bernhard Langer at the Heritage Classic and in 1979 to Lou Graham at the Philadelphia Classic. Graham shot a 64 on the final day to force the playoff. , "I've had my share of leads," Wadkins said. "I was tied for the lead in this tournament in 1987 going into Sunday. I've been close. You don't think about it, though. You can't worry about what you've done in the past." Wadkins' problems were apparent Friday when he broke his driver on the 17th hole. He said he would borrow another driver from his brother, or try to get one sent from home. After practicing on the driving range, Wadkins checked the leader-board as he walked to the clubhouse. His name was no longer at the top. "I know I haven't won, but if I swing the way I'm capable, I see no reason I won't be here Sunday," Wadkins said. And what will he do if he finally wins? "I'd probably retire and go fishing," he joked. "I did catch a 10-pound bass in a private lake near here, so this is going to be a good week." Bobby Wadkins also was afflicted by the bizarre on Friday. At one point, he missed a putt, not because of a misread green, but a misplaced scream. "Some lovely lady here in Birmingham called out her neighbor's name and she got her friend's attention and mine. And I missed the putt," Wadkins said. As his score soared, Wadkins following slipped into slumber. One fan even camped out for a greenside snooze in the Alabama sun as Wadkins putted out at the 18th hole. Tommy Armour III had his troubles too, misfiring on a one-handed tap-in attempt on the 13th green. If y IF J , -a J 'j' j K I . v JF v" . J I Jf ' f jf - I . '; ; '.: fcjajfajamwIwM-lwlwK:. -- '-- .Imfcl I I I I I I I IJ i . -.V.-. ' jj , ,-, ,-, fj, " ' M'l M -Vij 'ifj l"t ll'"'--!'!.'!.-! itii fawB jAi-j Greg Norman lines up a putt on the first hole Friday in the second round of the PGA Championship. Norman shot a 69. Fuzzy From page one drag me off the ground," Zoeller recalled. "I was sober the night before, too. They got me to a hospital and I was on morphine for four days." Zoeller had a successful operation - - ....... , . ' v - v Reuters A wave of success carried Larry Mize to a second-round 68, good for a two-round 1 40 that left him one shot back. After missing from 8 feet on the first try, he rolled the tap-in attempt just 1 inch before hitting the cup. Steve Bradley, publicity chairman for the event, said 29,346 people attended Thursday's opening round. The four-day total for the opening round and three practice rounds was close to 93,000, Bradley said. Jay Delsing leads the way among the St. Louis-area contingent with a 4-over-par 148, nine strokes back. Hale Irwin, the U.S. Open champion, is at 149. St. Louisan Larry Emery (156) and Belleville's Jay Haas (160) missed the cut. Jay Don Blake withdrew after 10 holes, complaining of illness. Blake had a 77 in his first round and shot 42 on the front nine for the second round. Seve Ballesteros of Spain shot AFP the following September. His back hasn't bothered him this week on the hard ground at Shoal Creek. "My back has no conscious," Zoeller said. "It tends to hurt when the ground Is soft, so that's no problem here." Zoeller, who hasn't won a tournament since 1986, was so tired after Friday's round that he didn't try to get in any extra practice. "I'm going bass fishing," he said. Round Memories the highest round of his career in the; PGA ChamnionshiD when he carded an 1 1 -over-par 83 on Friday. , his previous nignest round was a 78 , in 4987. Ballesteros failed to make the cut at 160. , Scott Vornlank onvp hark civ, shots in three holes. On Thursday, he started birdie, birdie, birdie, but in the ' " second round for the first three holes,' ' 11 was uugey, oogcy, Dogey. Four rlnh nrnc mnrio tha nit in. -mwrnm W WW miw.MV taaw V. U k. .... eluding Bob Boyd, the head pro at , Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Md. Boyd shot 74 for a 36-hole total of 148. Bob Ford of Oakmont, Pa., Cary Hungate of Kokomo, Ind., and James Blair of Ogden, Utah, also advanced No club pro made the cut last year-. Hurlbut Takes Lead oy 1 ne Associated press STRATTON MOUNTAIN, Vt. , Laura Hurlbut finished ahead of the rain and the field Friday, takinp a twn. stroke lead after a 68 at the LPGA Stratton Mountain Classic. Now it eets difficult for Hurlbut. I This year has been frustrating because I've made a lot of cuts, but I've had trouble on the weekends," Hurl-. but said after sinking a 10-foot eagle putt on the final hole for a 138, 6-. under par. Her closest challenger is Cindy' Figg-Currier, whose 68 shared the first-round lead with Nancv Harvev. Figg-Currier, who was 8-under after 12 holes, bogeyed four of the last six and dropped to 72, two strokes behind at 140. Amy Benz and Karen Davies, tied at fi9 Thiirsriav. each shnt 72 fnr 141. They were deadlocked with Lynn Con- nallir 71 on1 f-attiir r.arrinn 7A thrao ctrnlroc haplf The wet weather that turned into a ? downnour midwav throueh the after noon held down the scores. r Chi Chi Takes Over AT tf TrTTt?DrtTTt? rut rhi Dnjlri. guez knows how to waltz through an , open door. With Lee Trevino and Jack Nick-, laus at the PGA Championship in Bir-, mingham, Ala., this week, Rodriguez TVO-HVU IllUw u u ill w-wb-ai Hi- .11 , round lead of the Sunwest Bank Senior riflQQir with a near-flawless fi-under CG AifDf iha R 700-irorH T7nv Uillo . "It just shows that when the big cats aic uui ui iuwii, uiv; iiluc uiuuac iiuiii Puerto Rico can play around " Rodri- gu-- saiu uii-i &-) tvMiiu -uui uiwiuUwU five birdies and an eagle. Rodriguez, whose only bogey came at the par-5 11th, where he double-hit a pitch shot from behind the green, hnlrlc q nn-w-ctiVklr-. taaA Aiit Tin Trw . entering today's second round of the Dent, the second-leading money winner on the Senior Tour behind six-time winner Trevino, had a share of the lead until he bogeyed the slick1 189-yard par-3 17th hole. Gay Brewer was at 69 along with Din.. rnnnA aj T t: vmy ixiaisci aiiu juc jiukikl.

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