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OC Register: Angels lose David Fletcher until midseason following surgery


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ANAHEIM ― The hip injury that caused Angels infielder David Fletcher to miss more than half of the season’s first month will keep him sidelined until midseason.

Fletcher, 27, underwent surgery Tuesday in Philadelphia to repair his left and right adductor muscles, as well as his rectus abdominis muscle. Head athletic trainer Mike Frostad said Fletcher will need “a couple months” to get back on the field. That projects to a return around the All-Star break, July 18-22.

“The surgeon (name) is very optimistic, and he’s done hundreds of these procedures and seen guys come back with no issues,” Frostad said. “We’re anticipating once he’s healthy he’ll be back with us the rest of the year.”

Fletcher batted a meager .158 in 14 games, sandwiched around two separate trips to the injured list. Shortstop Andrew Velazquez and second baseman Tyler Wade have assumed the reins as the starting middle infielders. Matt Duffy is eligible to return from the COVID-19 injured list this week and is expected to join the mix then as well.

Fletcher’s injury was originally listed as affecting his left hip, but Frostad said it is not uncommon for both sides of the groin to affect a baseball player with Fletcher’s type of injury.

“Usually if one (adductor) is bad the other one’s bad too,” Frostad said. “It’s good to get them both fixed now instead of doing one now, because down the road if he needs it it’s another length of time he has to miss. Doing both today was not the worst idea.”

CATCHER SHUFFLE

Max Stassi joined fellow catcher Kurt Suzuki on the injured list. While the team did not specify a reason, Stassi’s absence is ostensibly related to COVID-19 because he was replaced by Austin Romine, a catcher who is not on the 40-man roster. No corresponding 40-man roster move was made.

That leaves three players – Stassi, Suzuki and Duffy – on IL for reasons presumably connected to COVID-19.

Manager Joe Maddon said Romine and Chad Wallach, who replaced Suzuki, will split playing time behind the plate “50-50.”

“I’m a big fan of both of these guys,” Maddon said. “You saw Wallach (Monday) night. Look at his feet, he’s got great feet. His at-bats are good; the guy’s not an out. Romine, same thing, great defensive presence and his hitting has improved also.”

Romine, an Orange County native, has a .238 batting average, 28 home runs and 157 RBIs in 433 major league games with the New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers and Chicago Cubs. He batted .231 with a .412 on-base percentage in spring training and was hitting .286 with a .355 OBP in eight games with Triple-A Salt Lake.

Maddon said he expects Romine to catch Shohei Ohtani on Wednesday.

ALSO

Frostad said Griffin Canning was “a bit more sore than we had hoped” one day after facing live hitters in a two-inning simulated game at Angel Stadium. The right-hander might have his next simulated outing, originally scheduled for Saturday, pushed back depending on how he felt Wednesday. … Relief pitcher Archie Bradley (left abdominal strain) will play catch Wednesday from 90 feet, Frostad said. … Jose Quijada (right oblique strain) is expected to throw off a mound for the first time “within the next couple days,” Frostad said.

UP NEXT

Tampa Bay (RHP Shane McClanahan, 2-2, 3.06 ERA) at Angels (RHP Shohei Ohtani, 3-2, 3.08 ERA), Wednesday, 4 p.m., Bally Sports West, FS1, 830 AM

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