Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Delino DeShields fractured a cheekbone in a freak accident Wednesday but is not expected to miss much playing time.
DeShields suffered a small fracture of a bone below his left eye when he was struck by a bat in the indoor batting cages. The bat accidentally slipped from teammate Mike Busch's hands and struck DeShields, who was standing close to the protective netting.
Dodgers team physician Frank Jobe said the injury will not keep DeShields from working out. DeShields will be able to play in exhibition games as soon as he is fitted with a protective plastic face shield.
Around the camps
ATLANTA: Doctors examined Ron Gant's broken right leg in Atlanta and confirmed the original prognosis: The leftfielder will be back no sooner than May and perhaps as late as July. Gant was injured in a dirt-bike accident Feb. 3. He had signed a one-year, $5.5-million contract the week before.
COLORADO: Colorado set up a locker for pitcher Jeff Parrett. Parrett, who went 3-3 with a 5.38 ERA last year, tore a ligament in his right elbow in late July and had reconstructive surgery. He is a free agent and can't work out with the team, but he can use the clubhouse during his rehabilitation.
FLORIDA: Richie Lewis, a member of the Florida State Seminoles in the mid-1980s, allowed two runs in two innings against his alma mater. "I made some pretty good pitches out there," said Lewis, wearing a Seminoles hat in the clubhouse. "They battled and hung in there and put it in play and made stuff happen and put a couple of runs on the board against the old All-American." The Marlins rallied for a 7-2 victory in the first game at Space Coast Stadium in Melbourne, their new spring training home.
LOS ANGELES: Darryl Strawberry may be slugging it out in a courtroom over alleged income tax evasion. Citing sources familiar with the investigation, the New York Daily News reported that Strawberry allegedly failed to disclose "in excess of $300,000" of income derived from signing autographs at baseball card and memorabilia shows. A law enforcement source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told the Associated Press that federal investigators had been looking at a case involving the Los Angeles Dodgers' outfielder. However, investigators would not disclose the subject or the status of the probe.
MONTREAL: The Expos renewed the contract of Pedro Martinez, the pitcher obtained from the Los Angeles Dodgers for second baseman Delino DeShields in November. Martinez will be paid about $200,000 for 1994. Infielder Mike Lansing and pitching prospect Miguel Batista also had their contracts renewed. The Expos reached signed agreements with their last six players without a contract: pitchers Denis Boucher, Kirk Rueter and Tim Scott, first baseman Cliff Floyd, infielder Freddie Benavides and outfielder Curtis Pride.
NEW YORK: Bobby Bonilla, who played mostly rightfield a year ago, continues to work at third base. "It's a double-edged sword," Bonilla said. "I'm able to play a lot of different positions for teams and they like that. But then they want you to be Brooks Robinson at a certain position."
SAN FRANCISCO: Manager Dusty Baker said Bryan Hickerson will start the exhibition opener Friday.
_ TIMES WIRES