Simba eager to return, but being cautious

August 13th, 2019

ANAHEIM -- Angels shortstop said not to jump to conclusions about the fact that he has not returned to baseball activities after being placed on the injured list Aug. 4 with a left ankle injury.

Simmons said he expected to be back soon, although he admitted that the specific date is unknown. He feels ready to play, but he thought he was in the clear when he returned from a different ankle tweak while on the Angels’ road trip.

“I’m not too worried about it; I know I’ll be back soon,” said Simmons, who is batting .274 with five home runs and 28 RBIs in 74 games. “It’s just unfortunate that I have to miss a couple of days. It is what it is. I have to make peace with it.”

Simmons missed nearly the entire month of June with a bone bruise in the ankle, and there seemed to be some uncertainty about whether the current injury is related to his previous one, since it is on the opposite side of his left ankle.

“From what I understand, the bone bruise I had is still a little aggravated and kind of makes the bone a little weak,” Simmons said. “And there was a small pull in a tendon or something, something kind of pulled off, and that kind of caused that pain. I don’t know exactly if the pain is from the strain or the bruise. I’m not sure, but it’s feeling better.”

Manager Brad Ausmus is willing to take the blame if Simmons’ current injury is a result of the shortstop coming back too soon.

“I don’t know if they are necessarily related,” Ausmus said. “If they are related, then I guess it’s on me for playing him. ... We felt like he was ready, he felt like he was ready, the medical staff felt like he was ready. Whether they are related or not, I can’t really say.”

Simmons said he would not have changed the timetable of his previous return, even if he could. If anything, it’s just a matter of being even more patient this time.

“I’ll try to see where I’m at in the next couple of days,” he said. “I’m able to do stuff. I just haven’t tried. Just because I felt it on a simple thing, a swing, so I don’t want to go out there and say, ‘It feels good. Let me go swing,' and feel it out of nowhere. It didn’t ramp up, it was sudden, and I’m trying to give it rest right now.”

Anderson to injured list

Right-hander on Monday became the latest Angels player to go on the injured list, with a right upper trapezius strain. The issue arose Friday in Boston, and he was not available Saturday or Sunday.

“We don’t think it is anything long term, but it doesn’t seem to want to go away,” Ausmus said. “They thought it would be a day-to-day thing, but it hasn’t gotten better the last few days, so we just put him on the IL."

Anderson is 3-0 with a 5.01 ERA in 47 appearances out of the bullpen. He was replaced on the active roster by right-hander Jose Rodriguez, who was called up from Triple-A Salt Lake. Rodriguez has one previous Major League appearance, against the Baltimore Orioles on July 27, when he struck out two over 1 2/3 scoreless innings.

Injury updates: Canning, Pena, Ramirez, Middleton

• Right-hander Griffin Canning will return from the injured list and start against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday after recovering from right elbow inflammation.

• Right-hander Felix Pena, who tore his right ACL at Cleveland on Aug. 3, will have surgery on Friday.

• Right-hander Noe Ramirez (stomach virus) will pitch a simulated game at Angel Stadium on Tuesday, but when he returns from the injured list he has to serve a three-game suspension for throwing at the Astros' Jake Marisnick.

• Right-hander Keynan Middleton, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery, will pitch in a rehab game with Class A Advanced Inland Empire on Tuesday before moving to Salt Lake for more outings.