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ANGELS NOTEBOOK: ROOKIE STARTS SLOWLY.

Byline: Keven Chavez Staff Writer

Dallas McPherson, the Angels' present and future at third base, hasn't exactly hit the ground running in his return from a back injury suffered this spring.

The 24-year-old left-handed slugger, whose spot in the Angels lineup was created by the offseason departure of Troy Glaus, followed up his 0-for-4 season debut Monday with an 0-for-3 day with three strikeouts on Wednesday against the Cleveland Indians.

But dealing with growing pains is nothing new to Angels manager Mike Scioscia, who penciled McPherson back into Thursday night's lineup against Cleveland without reservation.

``A young player coming up obviously has lot of attention put on him and the tendency is going to be to try too hard,'' Scioscia said. ``We talked to Dallas about just trying to get into his game ... His swing is good, he just missed some pitches (Wednesday) that I think he's going to be on when his timing's there.''

McPherson hit .308 with six extra-base hits and 14 RBI in 10 games at Triple-A Salt Lake before being recalled to the Angels on Monday. McPherson struck out with two runners in scoring position in his first at-bat Thursday, then followed with his first hit of the season, a line-drive single to left in the fourth inning.

--Prinz update: Angels pitcher Bret Prinz played catch from about 60 feet for the second consecutive day as the right-hander recovers from a right shoulder strain.

``There was no pain or anything,'' said Prinz, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list on April 11.

Scioscia said there is no immediate timetable for the reliever's return.

--Youth clinic: Amgen Field at Thousand Oaks' Conejo Creek Park will be the site Saturday morning (11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) for an Angels clinic with instruction from Scioscia, hitting coach Mickey Hatcher and players Figgins and Robb Quinlan. The clinic is free and open to the public. More information: (805) 371-8909.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Apr 22, 2005
Words:323
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