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OC Register: Angels’ Andrelton Simmons feels stronger, hoping to increase power this season


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TEMPE, Ariz. — Andrelton Simmons believes he’s ready to take his offensive game to the next level.

The Angels Gold Glove shortstop is best known for his defense, although his hitting has improved significantly over the past few years.

Now, though, he said he’s finished a winter of adding strength that he hopes will show up in the numbers.

“More doubles, triples, homers,” Simmons said. “More exit velo maybe.”

Simmons hit 11 homers in 2018, contributing to a .417 slugging percentage. That was just a tick down from his career best .421 slugging percentage in 2017, when he hit 14 homers.

His career high was 17 homers in 2013, his first full season, but his average was only .248 that year.

In the past few years, Simmons has improved his batting average — to a career-best .292 last year — and he’s cut down his strikeouts.

It seems now Simmons is trying to add a little more power too. That’s why he said last year his goal for the winter was to improve his strength. Although he said there’s not much difference in his weight, he can tell there’s been a change.

“I can tell in the weight room,” he said. “I can tell when I hit the ball. It has a little extra jump. I can feel it too. I just know.”

Simmons had said that earlier in his career he added bulk and it cost him quickness in the field, so his goal was to avoid that this time.

“I’m hoping I don’t lose a step,” he said. “Every year everyone tries to maintain that. Time gets us all, but we work and we do our best to keep that agility and quickness. Hopefully I still have that step.”


Matt Harvey threw a bullpen session on Wednesday morning, his first time throwing off the mound since he was briefly shut down with a strained glute. He said everything was “good.”

As it turned out, Harvey went just three days without throwing, after the initial estimate was that he’d be out about 10 days.

“They just didn’t want to push it too quick and have something even worse happen,” Harvey said. “We made sure it was back in line.”

Harvey said he’s just about one bullpen session behind the other starters. He said he expects to have another bullpen session, then throw live batting practice and then be ready for a spring training game.


Nick Tropeano said he’s been working with pitching coach Doug White on retooling his delivery to take some of the strain off his shoulder. Tropeano missed much of last season with shoulder trouble, and he’s already been slowed this spring with a recurrence of the problem.

“I think we’ve made a lot of progress already and it’s not even been two weeks,” Tropeano said. “I think we’re headed in the right direction.”

Tropeano said he’s about 2-1/2 weeks from getting on a mound and five or six weeks from being at 100 percent. That would push him just barely past opening day.

Tropeano is in a group with Jaime Barría, Felix Peña and Dillon Peters, competing for starting opportunities beyond the top four of Tyler Skaggs, Andrew Heaney, Trevor Cahill and Harvey.


Shohei Ohtani said he’s still having no issues in his rehab and continues to move toward the next step, which is hitting off a tee. “If everything goes well, I should be getting started soon,” Ohtani said through his interpreter…

David Fletcher is getting some work in the outfield this spring. He made a couple emergency appearances in the outfield last season, having never played there before. Manager Brad Ausmus also said they are unsure whether Fletcher would play second or third if he wins an everyday job. Both Fletcher and Zack Cozart can play either position, and the Angels will be determining this spring which alignment is better defensively…

Ausmus, on Mike Trout continuing to improve: “Everyone can improve somewhere. Even the best players on the planet can improve. Then they become best-er.”

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Nice if Simmons does add some more power.  He’s been improving offensively every year.  He needs to make the All-Star Game   

As far as Fletcher goes, I thought he looked more comfortable at 3B than Cozart.  Think the better D would have Fletcher at 3B.  Though looking forward to the battle he will have with Ward and Rengifo. It’s gonna be fun to see how that plays out this Spring   


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20 hours ago, Lou said:

I completely agree. 

I get as much enjoyment watching Simmons play every day as I do watching Trout. 

Same. It seems weird, obviously trout is goat. Simmons isnt in the same class.

But his defense is by far and away one of the most entertaining things in baseball. His bat having recently come around has been a nice surprise.

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