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Three Suns out

July 17, 2000|By BOB PARASILITI

Three Suns out



Programs are becoming a neccesity at Municipal Stadium.

The Hagerstown Suns continued the highly unusual practice of moving players on Monday when third baseman Robert Cosby and outfielder/designated hitter Alex Rios were reassigned to Queens to make way for infielder Shawn Fagan and outfielder Chivas Clark.

Fagan and Clark were in the lineup Monday when the Suns faced Asheville in the Businessperson's Special which ended the four-game homestand.

The merry-go-round that the Hagerstown clubhouse has become continued to spin as latest changes raised the total to 26 moves in the last six weeks.

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Such activity is unusual for the Toronto Blue Jays orgination, which lives by the philosophy of leaving players on one team for a whole season and allowing them to play to gain experience. But it also believed in teaching and learning in a winning atmosphere.

The winning edge has been missing for the 2000 Suns, who finished the South Atlantic League's first half with a 44-46 record and in fifth place in the Northern Division. Hagerstown showed a glimmer of hope at the beginning of the second half with a six-game win streak which moved it to as high as second place in the standings.

But the current five-game skid has dropped the Suns back to fourth place and in danger of falling out of contention by the time they return next week from an eight-game road trip through Piedmont and Hickory, two of the Northern Division's front runners.

Suddenly, winning has become extremely important to Toronto and the Suns.

Cosby leaves Hagerstown after hitting .237 with four home runs and 29 RBI in 77 games while showing inconsistency in the field.

Rios, Toronto's top pick in the 1999 amateur draft, joined the Suns on June 16 after spending most of the first half in extended spring training to rehabilitate an injury to his throwing arm. Part of Rios' move will allow him to play in the outfield everyday in Queens, Toronto's half-season team in the New York-Penn League. Rios was hitting .230 with no home runs and five RBI.

Fagan, who started at third on Monday, was Toronto's 13th pick in the recent amateur draft out of Penn State. He played 25 games for Queens, hitting .289 with two home runs and 13 RBI. Clark was the 38th pick in the 1997 draft, spending most of his first two years recuperating from injuries. He hit .270 at Medicine Hat in 1999 and was hitting .220 at Queens before being promoted.

These moves come on the heels of the four the Suns made on Saturday which promoted Rob Hamann to Dunedin, activated pitcher Peter Bauer, placed outfielder Auntwan Riggins on the disabled list and promoted outfielder Shawn Pearson from Queens.

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