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OC Register: Angels’ Andrew Heaney comfortable with MLB’s coronavirus protocols so far


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ANAHEIM — Andrew Heaney, who has been a part of the process to figure out how all this is working, seems to be confident that it can.

“I think everybody here feels pretty safe and comfortable with the way we’re handling things,” said Heaney, who is one of the Angels’ player reps to the union.

Major League Baseball is about to have a season amid the coronavirus pandemic. While logistical issues have created more questions about whether it’s possible to go forward, Heaney endorsed the sport’s efforts.

A few days after the Angels had to alter their workout plans because the officials administering the coronavirus tests didn’t show up, Heaney said Wednesday he is hoping that was “a one-off” related to the holiday.

“I feel good,” Heaney said. “Every day I see our staff, our players, the way they handle their business, I see there is genuine understanding, care and concern with how everything is handled on a day-to-day basis. So I feel comfortable. I really do.”

The Angels seem to be working into a routine after a few days of hiccups. They pushed the start of their workouts back to allow more time for testing results to come back. They have players spending their down time in individually assigned luxury suites at Angel Stadium, rather than congregating in the clubhouse. They have been working out on the field in smaller groups.

“I’ve got to commend MLB,” Manager Joe Maddon said. “This is very complicated, as you can see. I’m really impressed with everything involved in this and how well thought out it is. Of course, you’re going to have some hiccups and, of course, things aren’t going to be perfect. To expect perfection right now is a bad assumption and an expectation.

“So I think we’ve done a great job, but I commend them, the guys that put this together. I think it’s going to keep getting better.”

TEHERAN COMING SOON?

One of the awkward situations of playing amid the coronavirus is that teams can’t release any information about conditions that aren’t related to playing – including the coronavirus – without consent of the player. That means in many cases players are absent with no explanation.

Julio Teheran, the most prominent Angels player to be absent so far, cleared up some of his situation in an interview on Wednesday with ESPN Deportes.

Teheran said in Spanish that he and members of his family had started to feel symptoms suggesting the coronavirus right before he was to travel to Southern California. Teheran said he is still in Atlanta, awaiting test results, but he hopes to be in Anaheim in a few days.

“It is sad to be here while my teammates have returned to work,” Teheran said in Spanish. “I hope to rejoin the team this weekend.”

Teheran added that his “arm is fine.”

After being told of Teheran’s comments Wednesday, Maddon wasn’t ready to say that the pitcher would be ready to start the season in the rotation, even if he arrives this weekend.

“You wouldn’t want to push it,” Maddon said, adding that once Teheran arrives they will assess his condition.

Heaney, who will start the July 24 opener, is in camp and healthy, as are Shohei Ohtani, Griffin Canning and Dylan Bundy. Those four will be in the rotation, with Matt Andriese and Felix Peña the leading candidates to fill out the rotation while waiting for Teheran.

Jaime Barria is also in camp, but Jose Suarez and Patrick Sandoval are not. The Angels have not provided a reason for Suarez and Sandoval’s absence.

ALSO

The Angels claimed right-hander Jacob Rhame on waivers from the New York Mets. Rhame will be able to join the team after testing negative for the coronavirus. Rhame, 24, has a 6.23 ERA in 44 major-league games over the past three seasons, all in relief. He has struck out 40 and walked 24 in 47 2/3 innings.

Maddon said they haven’t decided which day of the week would be the best to have Ohtani make his once-a-week starts, but he confirmed that a key factor is the proximity to days off. The Angels don’t use Ohtani as the DH the day before or after he pitches. The Angels have three of their six off days on Mondays, making Sunday a logical choice for his starts.

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