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OC Register: Angels pitcher Andrew Heaney, limited by elbow soreness, exercises patience

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ANAHEIM — Andrew Heaney has mastered the art of taking it a day at a time.

The 27-year-old left-hander is working his way back from a sore elbow that shut him down for a week earlier this month.

Heaney, who had Tommy John surgery in 2017, underwent an MRI this month that yielded no concerning results, so he started throwing again about a week ago and on Monday made 20 pitches off the mound.

It was a light session, “about the same effort as like a side in between a start,” and it went well, he said.

Still, he said he didn’t know when he’d be available, though he expected to test his arm again in a couple of days with an “up and down” session.

“I know it’s cliche, but I am genuinely taking it a day at a time,” said Heaney, who experienced a similar issue last spring, when he stopped throwing for a few days before making his season debut on April 13 and then not missing a start the rest of the season, finishing with a team-leading 180 innings pitched.

“I’ve got to clear each little hurdle and it’s probably not good for me to turn my focus too far ahead,” he added. “So, just doing what they tell me.

“I wish it wasn’t something that’s quite so routine for me, but you know, it’s something I’ve learned over time. We all want to come out here and be healthy and play well, but it doesn’t always work out that way so you have to be a professional. So I just try to keep that attitude.”


After Angels left fielder Justin Upton sprained his left big toe when he ran into the wall while pursuing Max Muncy’s double in the first inning of Sunday’s game, he showed up to the ballpark Monday limping, Angels manager Brad Ausmus said.

“He’s just OK, toe’s a little sore,” said Ausmus, adding that he didn’t know whether Uptown would be available on Opening Day on Thursday afternoon in Oakland.

After missing most of spring training with right knee tendinitis, Upton said Sunday that the new injury, which he hoped wouldn’t cost him much time, was vexing.

“It’s frustrating, you know?” Upton said. “Finally getting back here and playing and get out in front of everybody at home, and … didn’t get any at-bats. So a little frustrating, but things happen and you take everything as it comes.”

He officially is listed as day to day.


Albert Pujols tried to advance from first to third on Zack Cozart’s single to left field in the second inning of Sunday’s game – and the veteran slugger almost made it. Almost.

Asked Monday whether he was OK with Pujols’ decision to try to go from first to third, Ausmus said absolutely, he was.

“The situation is going to dictate when a guy should try and should not try to advance,” Ausmus explained. “In that particular situation, it was a good try. I thought Albert made the right decision. You’re not always going to be safe, but with two outs, Albert has a much better chance of scoring from third base than second base.

“So I was actually glad, in a situation where it was a 50-50 proposition for him to be safe or out, I was glad he made the decision to try and go. Because if he’s safe at third, on a single he scores easily.”


In a minor league game Monday afternoon in Arizona, left-hander Tyler Skaggs pitched 5-1/3 innings, allowing one hit and no runs, with seven strikeouts and no walks.

On March 10, Skaggs was scratched from his scheduled start with forearm fatigue that he attributed to overdoing it in a bullpen session in which he experimented with a new “top secret” pitch. He’s slated to start the Angels’ fourth game in Oakland on Sunday afternoon.

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