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Anaheim Angels

An Angel After All

ANAHEIM–There is truth in the cliché that every team is looking for lefthanded pitching, but this is ridiculous: Within the span of two months, Eric Cyr

wasn’t an Angel, was an Angel, then wasn’t, then was again.

Cyr, 24, reported to spring training with the Padres. He was a jewel of their farm system in 2001, when he had a 1.61 ERA and 131 strikeouts in 100 innings at Class A Lake Elsinore. He had arthroscopic shoulder and elbow surgery last year, and when the Padres put him on waivers in March, the Angels decided his promise was worth the $20,000 claiming price.

"It’s a roll of the dice," Angels general manager Bill Stoneman said then. "If his arm comes back, he could have a very bright future."

Three weeks into the season, the Angels determined Cyr was no lock to make the majors and put him on waivers.

On the day before the claim period expired, he threw seven no-hit innings for Double-A Arkansas. The Reds promptly claimed him.

"Up until he pitched the game of his life, he hadn’t pitched very well," Stoneman said.

In four starts at Arkansas, Cyr went 1-2, 5.40. In one outing for the Reds at Double-A Chattanooga, he faced 12 batters and gave up six hits. So the Reds tried to sneak him through waivers, and the Angels re-claimed him.

Why? "That’s probably what he’s asking," Stoneman said.

With the Angels needing an outfielder, they used Cyr’s spot on the 40-man roster to promote outfielder Gary Johnson from Triple-A Salt Lake. When they re-claimed him, they sent him back to Arkansas.

"I spoke to him," Reds farm director Tim Naehring told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, "and told him that a small percentage of players in fact fall into this category and it’s unfortunate he’s been bounced from team to team, and to hang in there and things will work out for him."

Stoneman did not rule out the possibility of putting Cyr on waivers again this season. To make room for him on the 40-man roster the second time around, the Angels designated righthander Elio Serrano for assignment.

Angel Food

• Johnson doubled on the first pitch he saw in the majors and singled in his next at-bat. In 20 games at Salt Lake, he was hitting .256-2-17.

• Righthander Derrick Turnbow, 25, who missed most of the past two seasons after three arm surgeries, earned a promotion to Salt Lake after pitching 14 scoreless innings for Arkansas, giving up four hits and striking out 19. With Francisco Rodriguez on bereavement leave, Turnbow even spent a few days in Anaheim, where he was clocked at 97 mph in his first major league appearance in three years.

• Previous organization report: New Point of View

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