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Magrane has high hopes

Left-handed pitcher Joe Magrane, who missed all of 1991 after elbow surgery, hopes to be pitching within the first few weeks of the season, although there are some in the organization who think he could be ready by Opening Day. On Friday, the Cardinals' first official work day of the 1992 season, he threw for approximately 10 minutes at about 75 percent effort.

"Coming back from something like this, you have to get your timing, you have to break lots of scar tissue," Magrane said. "So it's going to come in plateaus. When you're fussing through a lot of scar tissue like that, sometimes you feel things popping and you think, "Oh geez, did I break it again?' But Dr. (Frank) Jobe said that's to be expected. So, there's a little anxiety, but I kept myself in good shape."

Reliever Todd Worrell, who hasn't pitched in the majors since September 1989 after undergoing the same surgery as Magrane, expects to be in the Cardinals' bullpen Opening Day. Worrell pitched 13 innings during instructional league play last fall.

Andres Galarraga reported early and took some cuts in the batting cage with new coach Don Baylor looking on. Galarraga, who struggled with injuries during his worst offensive season (.219) last year in Montreal, was acquired in November for pitcher Ken Hill. Galarraga: "I have a new team, a new number, everything is new now. I need to forget about what happened last year. I'm just so excited to be here."

Manager Joe Torre on his pitching staff: "We're not going to strike people out like the Mets, but we're going to throw strikes. And if we can throw strikes and catch the ball, then we'll do what we did last year and be in the hunt. We don't beat ourselves."

Thirty-one players reported Friday, with only one no-show. Pitcher Fidel Compres of the Dominican Republic reportedly is having trouble obtaining a visa, and it is unknown when he will report. The rest of the team is scheduled to report Wednesday. The Busch Complex is at 7901 30th Ave. N. The Cardinals work out today at 10 a.m. The Cardinals' box office is at Al Lang Stadium, 180 2nd Ave. SE. Their first game at Al Lang is March 6 at 1:35 p.m. against Baltimore. For ticket information, call 894-4773.

_ NANCY TAPPER

Howell on

comeback trail

CLEARWATER _ Ken Howell pulled up his socks early Friday morning, almost forgetting which pair to put on first. That signaled the beginning of the Philadelphia Phillies' spring-training camp and the arrival of 23 pitchers and five catchers at Carpenter Complex. The rest of the team arrives Wednesday.

Howell, 31, is returning from a string of injuries that have kept him from pitching in the major leagues since Aug. 5, 1990.

"Boy, when you don't play a year, you forget what to put on first," Howell said as he stretched on a pair of socks. "I feel like an invalid coming back."

In August '90, Howell sustained tendinitis in the area of his rotator cuff and had surgery a week later. After rehabilitation, Howell came to spring training last year healthy but felt discomfort in his right shoulder. Last March, Howell had surgery to remove a bone spur on the clavicle and was placed on the disabled list. He missed the entire season.

Howell: "I just want to be healthy. I feel like a kid again."

Terry Mulholland and Jose DeJesus were the only pitchers who missed Friday's workout. Public relations director Larry Shenk said Mulholland's father had quadruple bypass heart surgery and DeJesus' uncle died. Both players are expected in camp today.

Former St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Greg Mathews was among those in attendance; he had been invited to camp as a non-roster player and signed a Class AAA contract. Left-hander Pat Combs threw and said he was 100 percent healthy after having a bone chip and spurs removed from his left elbow in August. Pitcher Cliff Brantley agreed to a one-year contract; the Phillies have 15 unsigned players. The Phillies practice at 10 a.m. today. The Carpenter Complex is located at 651 Old Coachman Road in Clearwater. Exhibition-game tickets can purchased at Jack Russell Stadium in Clearwater. Call 442-8496 for information. The first home game is March 6 at 1:05 p.m. against Toronto.

_ WAYNE McKNIGHT

Swindell loses arbitration

PLANT CITY _ New pitcher Greg Swindell lost his first game Friday with the Reds when an arbitrator ruled in Cincinnati's favor. Swindell nevertheless will make $2.5-million this year, the sixth-highest salary ever in arbitration. General manager Bob Quinn remains unbeaten in arbitration cases during his three years with the Reds.

This time last year, the Reds were trying to adjust to life as defending World Series champions. Now, after one of the team's most active off-seasons in memory, the new-look Reds are trying to adjust to each other. Only 13 players remain from the 25-man championship team. Gone are outfielder Eric Davis, starting pitcher Jack Armstrong, infielder Mariano Duncan and reliever Randy Myers. Enter pitchers Tim Belcher, Scott Bankhead and Swindell, among others. "I think it's refreshing," shortstop Barry Larkin said. "It's new. There are a lot of new faces, and a lot of old faces you haven't seen for a while."

Glenn Braggs showed no ill effects from surgery on his left shoulder Dec. 3. He deposited several balls onto the roof of a metal shed beyond the leftfield fence during batting practice. Rookie right-hander Bobby Ayala was the only pitcher not to report Friday. He was hurt in a motorcycle accident in California on Monday and isn't expected to report until the first week of March. Milton Hill agreed to terms on a one-year contract, leaving four players unsigned: former Florida Gator Scott Ruskin, Joe Oliver, Hal Morris and Reggie Sanders.

The Reds work out again today at 10 a.m. The Reds' box office at Plant City Stadium, 1900 South Park Road, opens Tuesday at 10 a.m. Their first game in Plant City is March 8 at 1:05 p.m. against Kansas City. For ticket information, call 752-1878.

_ CARTER GADDIS

Elsewhere

SAN DIEGO _ Free-agent shortstop Kurt Stillwell and the San Diego Padres agreed on a two-year, $3.5-million contract. Stillwell, 26, spent the past four seasons with Kansas City. Last year, Stillwell lost his starting job to rookie David Howard after the All-Star break. The Royals did not make a strong effort to re-sign him. Tony Fernandez, 29, was the Padres' starting shortstop last season. The New York Yankees' shaky hierarchy began to collapse when Leonard Kleinman was fired as chief operating officer and commissioner Fay Vincent threatened to reject Daniel R. McCarthy's nomination as managing general partner. Kleinman was fired by McCarthy because he refused to drop a lawsuit against Vincent, according to a lawyer involved in the situation, who spoke on the condition he not be identified. Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, who agreed in July 1990 to a ban from the team's daily operations, is attempting to regain control, but Vincent will not speak with him until two lawsuits are dropped, including Kleinman's.

_ TIMES WIRES

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