10/08/2002 8:36 pm ET
MLBeat: Schoeneweis ready
Reliever could see extra time vs. Twins' lefties
By Doug Miller / MLB.com
MINNEAPOLIS -- Scott Schoeneweis wasn't exactly expecting huge exposure coming into the ALCS, but he woke up Tuesday morning and saw his picture on the front of the sports section of USA Today.
"I saw my picture and thought, 'Seriously, what could they possibly be writing about me for?' he said.
Turns out it was a mistake by the paper that had Schoeneweis' picture but a caption describing Angels center fielder Darin Erstad.
"I don't know how they did it," Schoeneweis said. "We look nothing alike whatsoever. It's not like anyone knows me enough to say, 'No! That's Schoeneweis!' "
After the ALCS, the Twins just might. Schoeneweis, a lefty who had started most of his career, was moved to the bullpen in late June to make way for rookie John Lackey and became a short-relief specialist called on to have a go at the big lefties in the opposing teams' lineups.
That role reached its pinnacle in the American League Division Series that the Angels won over the New York Yankees.
Schoeneweis was, essentially, a Jason Giambi specialist, employed to soften the sting of one of the AL's premier hitters.
Fast forward a week to the ALCS at the Metrodome, where the Twins' lineup is packed with lefties who weren't very proficient at hitting lefties, and enter Schoeneweis, who could see a much more significant chunk of the relief innings.
"He's capable of going through the order one time, and with all their lefties, it's a possibility," says Angels bench coach Joe Maddon.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia says Schoeneweis would be looked at for long relief if an Angels starter struggles out of the gate.
"He could easily go 40 to 50 pitches," Scioscia says. "I don't know if it will get to that, but he's prepared to do it if we need it."
Schoeneweis says he's ready for the challenge.
"I was prepared to pitch more whether we faced Minnesota or Oakland because they have a lot of lefties," Schoeneweis says. "I'm fully prepared to come in at any time and I'm looking forward to get out there in any capacity. Whatever they ask me to do is what I'm going to do. Hopefully, I'll do it well."
Schoeneweis didn't fare so well in the ALDS. He appeared in three games and recorded one out while giving up two hits and one earned run. Then again, he only faced Giambi.
He says he realizes the urgency of the situations he'll be thrown into in this series.
"It's playoffs," he says. "It's do or die. If I have to throw 40 pitches every day, that's what I'll do. I've learned how to use the least amount of pitches to get ready. You've got eight more on the mound. I did it my rookie year. It's kind of like riding a bike."
Fasano hurt: Catcher Sal Fasano, who is not on the Angels' playoff roster but was brought along on the trip through the playoffs to possibly join the team in the case of an injury to starting catcher Bengie Molina or backup Jose Molina, has ligament damage in his right elbow, according to Scioscia.
Scioscia said the Angels would explore options from their minor-league ranks for a replacement, but he added that Shawn Wooten, who has been used as a designated hitter against left-handed pitching, has big-league experience as a catcher and could fill that role if needed.
"Fasano is down for the count right now," Scioscia said. "So we'll figure out what to do about that."
Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.