Notes: Simba near return; Adell rolls with it

August 11th, 2020

Angels shortstop is nearing a return after suffering a left ankle sprain on July 27, manager Joe Maddon said Monday.

Simmons injured the ankle at first base while trying to beat out an infield single and David Fletcher has replaced him as the primary shortstop. But Simmons has been making progress recently, according to Maddon, as he took batting practice before Monday’s game and also participated in running drills.

“He’s getting close,” Maddon said. “I’ve been talking to the trainers, and he’s getting close. He’s taking batting practice on the field, which would then put him in line to be considered to come back.”

Maddon, though, said he doesn’t have a target date in mind for Simmons just yet. But with the way things are trending, it appears it’ll be sooner rather than later.

"I don't have specifics yet for it, but it's getting closer and it's all good,” Maddon said. “I don't think it'll be very far into the future to get him back. But I don't have anything definitive."

Getting Simmons back would be a big boost for the infield defense and would also give the Angels more flexibility to move Fletcher all over the diamond. Without Simmons, the Angels have been using Luis Rengifo as a backup infielder, and he’s scuffled offensively.

Adell taking rough start in stride

Rookie right fielder has had a tough start to his Major League career, including going 0-for-4 with four strikeouts and having a ball hit off his glove and go over the fence for a four-base error in Sunday’s 7-3 loss to the Rangers.

“It's gonna have to be me just settling in,” Adell said. “Figuring out my groove and understanding that it's a game and things happen, you make mistakes. Just go out and do you. I think I'm not there yet. I'm ready to get there, I'm on my way to get to getting there. But it's one of those things where I just have to go out, relax and just do my thing, and not really worry about the result.”

Maddon has talked with Adell about the pressures that come with a first Major League callup, especially with Adell so highly regarded as the No. 6 overall prospect by MLB Pipeline.

“It’s about simplifying,” Maddon said. “You just don’t give him a whole lot. He’s up here for a reason. What you just want to get him to do is slow the hamster wheel down a bit so he can think properly and go out there and do what he normally does. I’ve been giving him different information regarding defense, which I don’t think would be intrusive or problematic, but I think if you gave too much to think about in the batter’s box, that’s where it can kind of get tricky, and we’re not doing that.”

Angels make roster move
The Angels activated left-hander from the injured list and optioned him to their alternate training site in Long Beach, Calif. They also designated right-handed reliever Jose Rodriguez for assignment to clear a space on the 40-man roster. Suarez was a late addition to camp for undisclosed reasons but is now healthy and could be recalled soon if the Angels need a spot starter. Otherwise, he’ll continue to stretch out in Long Beach.

"He's been looking really good down there,” Angels pitching coach Mickey Callaway said. “That's what the reports have been telling us. He's stretched out to a couple innings, and he's available whenever we need him at this point. Obviously, he wouldn't be stretched out to five or six innings yet, but if we need a spot starter, it looks like he's in a pretty good spot with his mechanics, the way he's throwing the ball. It seems to be pretty good and I think he could come help us if need be."