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OC Register: Angels’ Andrelton Simmons out indefinitely with a sprained ankle

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ANAHEIM — Andrelton Simmons won’t be back as quickly as he’d hoped in the immediate aftermath of the sprained ankle he suffered slipping on the dugout steps.

The Angels placed Simmons on the disabled list with a grade 2 right ankle sprain. Simmons, who had hoped to miss just a couple days, now will have to miss at least 10 days, and probably more.

“There’s no timeline yet, but it’s certainly going to take a little bit of time,” Manager Mike Scioscia said. “He’s going to go on the DL and the medical staff will evaluate this every day and we’ll see where it leads.”

General Manager Billy Eppler also wouldn’t give a time table.

Simmons has undergone X-rays and an MRI, which at least confirmed that he doesn’t need surgery. After slipping just before the first pitch on Tuesday, he tried to play for two innings before coming out of the game. He was still walking with crutches when he arrived in the clubhouse on Wednesday.

“It’s a little better,” he said. “I’m planning to be back on my feet and moving around as soon as possible, but we’ve got to play it smart.”

Zack Cozart, who had been a shortstop his entire professional career until signing to play third for the Angels, will become the everyday shortstop in Simmons’ absence.

Luis Valbuena, Jefry Marte and Kaleb Cowart could all see some time at third. Cowart had been optioned to Triple-A on Tuesday afternoon. Hours after he arrived in Salt Lake City on Tuesday night, he was told he was coming back on Wednesday morning.

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Defensively, the Angels will miss Simmons, but Cozart is still an above-average shortstop, so the drop-off should be negligible in the short term. Offensively, however, Simmons was one of the hottest hitters on the team, batting .330. He is a top candidate for the All-Star team.

“He’s an important guy for us,” Scioscia said. “The way it happened is tougher to stomach than anything, just coming down the steps. But it happens.”


Albert Pujols has a sore left knee, so the Angels gave him back-to-back days off on Tuesday and Wednesday. He will get the scheduled day off on Thursday before returning to the lineup on Friday, Scioscia said.

“We’re going to manage it,” Scioscia said. “I don’t think it’s anything that we can’t take care of with a little bit of rest here and there. We want Albert to get his looks in the batter’s box. He’s starting to get comfortable swinging the bat.”

Pujols, 38, has played 35 games at first base, compared with 21 at DH so far this year. He played a total of 34 games at first the last two years combined. The Angels felt that he was healthy enough this year to handle the increased defensive workload, which was also necessary for them to get Shohei Ohtani’s bat in the lineup at DH.

Pujols is hitting .252 with a .691 OPS, slightly better than he hit last year.


The Angels completed the 40-round draft by taking 25 college players, 14 high schoolers and one intriguing selection who wasn’t playing at any school.

Right-handed pitcher Cristian Reyes, the Angels’ 21st-round pick, had reportedly been enrolled at Florida Memorial University but did not play because of eligibility concerns.

Reyes was playing in the Federal League, an amateur league that bills itself as a place where undrafted players get exposure and pro opportunities. Reyes, 23, is 6-foot-5, 220 pounds and has reportedly hit 96 mph with his fastball. The Angels found him at an open tryout, scouting director Matt Swanson said.

The Angels also took 29 pitchers. Swanson said it wasn’t a conscious effort to focus on pitching, just how their draft board lined up with the available players.

The Angels took college seniors with their sixth- through 10th-round picks. Those players typically sign for minimal bonuses because they do not have the leverage of going back to school, so the Angels will have the ability to exceed the slot value to sign other players.


Angels (Garrett Richards, 4-4, 3.25) at Twins (Lance Lynn, 4-4, 5.46), Friday, 5 p.m., Fox Sports West, KLAA (830 AM)

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