Wright Advances to Vegas; James Adkins Signs

When Wesley Wright stands with his teammates, he appears as though he's a Lilliputian lost in the world of Gullivers. Put him on a mound, though, and he seems to grow in stature. The lefthander from Grady, Ala, is charitably listed at 5-11. His game, though, is that of a far bigger man because he's always been an in-you-face pitcher who throws quality fast balls and breaking pitches.

Now, that's carried him up to AAA as he joins Las Vegas.

Wright was doing extremely well in rlief for Jacksonville with a 5-2 record, a 3.38 ERA while holding opponents to a .230 batting mark. Although not usually used as a closer, he has chalked up two saves. To illustrate the quality of his pitches, he struck out 50 batters in thr 45.1 innings he's worked.

At Las Vegas, Wright replaces B. J. LaMura, who had preceeded him up from Jacksonville's ranks but who never got it going with the 51's as a 1-4, 7.92 record would indicate.

The Dodgers have also come to terms with lefthander James Adkins of the University of Tennessee, whom they chose in the recent draft with the supplemental pick (39th overall) they were alloted for losing Julio Lugo to the Red Sox. Adkins reportedly received a signing bonus of $790,000.

Adkins ranks as Tennessee's alltime strikeout king, fanning 133 in 122 innings this past season. He had a deceptive 7-7 record as the Vols managed to average only 4.4 hits in the games he pitched. He's 6-6, 225 from Mount Juliet, Tenn,

His last collegiate start was his best as he allowed Vanderbilt only one hit in 8.2 innings. Vandy was ranked as the top team in the country at the time. For the season, Adkins posted a 2.80 ERA.

With the signing of Adkins,the Dodgers have now come to terms with 17 of their top 19 selections. Only righthanders Kyle Blair (5) and Devin Fuller (14) are unsigned.

The Dodgers also have signed catcher Matt Wallach, Tim' son. He was a 22nd round selection who played at Cal State Fullerton. He's reported to Ogden.

Another catcher, Anthony Harper, was released by Inland Empire. He batted .245 for them and didn't manage a home run in 38 games.