CINCINNATI -- Left-hander Andrew Heaney, on the 10-day injured list with left shoulder inflammation, threw a 64-pitch simulated game at Great American Ball Park on Monday and is on track to rejoin the rotation at some point this weekend in Boston.
Angels manager Brad Ausmus caught the simulated game, which featured four innings from Heaney, who threw all of his pitches. Ausmus liked what he saw from Heaney and believes he’ll be ready to return without needing a rehab assignment. Heaney has been out since July 16.
“What I was doing was looking at the stuff,” Ausmus said. “I’ve caught Heaney before, so I know his stuff. His stuff looked really good, especially the first inning he threw. Velocity was good, he threw all his pitches for strikes. He felt good. We just have to make sure tomorrow there are no after-effects.”
Heaney was also encouraged by the simulated game and is looking forward to rejoining a rotation that has seen its depth tested in recent weeks. He faced Luis Rengifo and Wilfredo Tovar during the simulated game, with the switch-hitting Rengifo standing in left-handed so that Heaney could face batters from both sides of the plate.
“The stuff was pretty good,” Heaney said. “I thought I was commanding the ball well, in and out. Changeup was good. I threw some breaking balls for strikes. I yanked a couple, but that’s normal.”
Lucroy placed on release waivers
Catcher Jonathan Lucroy, who was designated for assignment on Friday, cleared waivers and the Angels requested a release waiver on Monday. Lucroy, 33, will be released in the coming days, as the Angels couldn’t find a trade partner for the 10-year veteran. Lucroy hit .242/.310/.371 with seven homers and 30 RBIs in 74 games with the Angels.
Bard to injured list
Reliever Luke Bard, who was hit above his right elbow by a line drive on Sunday, was placed on the 10-day injured list with a right triceps contusion before Monday’s game. Left-hander Patrick Sandoval was recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake to make his Major League debut in Monday's 7-4 loss to the Reds. Sandoval struck out eight over five-plus innings, giving up two runs on three hits.
Additionally, right-hander Felix Pena, who is out for the season after suffering a torn ACL in his right knee on Saturday, was moved to the 60-day injured list to make room for Sandoval. Pena is also still waiting for the inflammation in his knee to subside before he undergoes surgery, so there’s still no official date for the operation.
Right-hander Griffin Canning, on the 10-day injured list with right elbow inflammation since Saturday, isn’t expected to be out long, Ausmus said. Canning is expected to start playing catch soon, as there is no structural damage to his elbow.
“It’s not really pain, it’s soreness,” Ausmus said. “He felt it after the previous start and it went away. We don’t consider it a big issue. We don’t think it’s going to be a long-term thing. But once the soreness is out, he’ll be free to throw.”