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Tuesday, June 14, 1994 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Mariner Log -- Fleming's Troubles Baffle Seattle Staff

Mariner pitcher Dave Fleming could be featured on the TV show "Unsolved Mysteries."

Manager Lou Piniella said Fleming's poor showing this season is "totally unexpected.

"I saw a better pitcher last year," he said. "He's going through control problems. Maybe he's aiming rather than throwing it."

Fleming, who had a 30-15 record and 3.92 ERA entering the season, now is 3-9 with a 7.38 ERA.

Piniella said it appears Fleming doesn't have command of his pitches on the outside. He also is getting his breaking balls up too high in the strike zone. Piniella suggested that Fleming could use a changeup, which he has been trying to develop.

"I've asked the trainer if anything's wrong. I've talked to the pitching coach. I've looked at films from last year," Piniella said. "He's had too much success to get hit this hard so consistently."

Piniella said he believed the starting pitching was the team's strength. He said Randy Johnson and Chris Bosio have pitched well "but the two others guys (Fleming and Greg Hibbard) are struggling. And Fleming has been the biggest mystery."

Notes

-- Reliever Jeff Darwin joined the Mariners in Arlington and pitched last night. He was called up from Class AAA Calgary after Sunday's game.

Infielder Torey Lovullo was sent down. It gives the club 12 pitchers, a necessity considering the struggling starting corps.

Darwin was 1-2 with six saves and a 3.77 ERA for Calgary. He had 32 strikeouts and 18 walks in 43 innings.

-- Reliever Bill Risley, who came out of Friday's game with a strained muscle in this right shoulder, will test the arm today. He'll throw on the side before the game.

"I'm not as optimistic as the medical staff," Piniella said. "I find it a little more troublesome. I haven't seen too many pitchers walk off the mound like that and be ready in four or five days."

-- The Mariners announced their complete draft list yesterday. They chose 75 players, matching the most ever, set in 1990.

Among them are 29 pitchers, including nine left-handers, eight catchers, 13 infielders and 25 outfielders.

Four Northwest players were drafted: LHP Jamie Bowman of Green River CC of Auburn, 1B Shawn Buhner (brother of Jay) of Lewis-Clark State, OF Kyle Rask of Redmond High and LHP Matt Sachse of Spokane's Ferris High of Spokane.

The club has signed eight of the 75, including LHP Osvaldo Fernandez, the 22nd pick, from Havana, Cuba. He played for Mission College in Los Angeles.

-- Mariner bench coach Lee Elia was shocked by the sudden retirement of Chicago Cub second baseman Ryne Sandberg. Elia coached Sandberg in Philadelphia. Then when he took a coaching job with the Cubs in 1982, was instrumental the Cubs' trade for him. Elia became the team's full-time manager in 1982 and moved Sandberg from third to second.

"After watching him in 1982, there was no doubt second would be his position," Elia said. "I knew he'd be good. I did not see his home-run potential. He has put up some quality numbers for a second baseman."

Sandberg finished with a career .289 average and 245 home runs. Elia said those are Hall of Famer numbers for a second baseman.

"He's a special, special person in my eyes," he added.

Farm report

AAA: Tacoma 10, Calgary 6 (31-33) - Tacoma scored six runs in the fifth inning, including a two-run double by Enoch Simmons, to beat Calgary in a Pacific Coast League game. Tacoma sent 10 batters to the plate in the fifth against Reggie Harris and reliever Alex Sanchez. AA: Orlando 7, Jacksonville 2 (23-40). A: Riverside 3 (40-22), San Bernardino 0. A: Appleton (37-28) 6, West Michigan 3.

Copyright (c) 1994 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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