Simmons activated, but another Angel hits IL

August 22nd, 2020

The Angels activated shortstop from the injured list on Friday, and he went 2-for-4 in their 5-3 loss to the A’s in Oakland, but they had to place catcher on the IL after he suffered both a right knee bruise and a right quad strain in Thursday’s game against the Giants.

Simmons had been out since July 27, when he suffered a sprained left ankle in Oakland while trying to beat out an infield single at first base. He started at shortstop and hit ninth in the series opener vs. the A's.

"I've been checking in with him daily,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said of Simmons. “We just got the final clearance from the medical department. I talked to them yesterday last night before we left, followed up today to make sure everything's cool, and it is. But he's going to need some massaging coming back into this thing to get him back to an everyday basis, but he’s feeling good.”

David Fletcher, who filled in at short when Simmons was injured, started at second base and will remain an everyday player. Simmons won’t be playing every day at shortstop initially, which will give Fletcher some at-bats while he’ll also start at second base. Tommy La Stella is expected to see more time at first base as a result. La Stella started at designated hitter with Shohei Ohtani getting a planned day of rest of Friday.

"We're not gonna just keep playing Simmons into the ground as he comes back, so there's still going to be some shortstop involvement," Maddon said. "I love David on the dirt. He'll have to play a lot of different places, but he's an elite infielder. We'll try to figure it out the best we can."

Stassi, meanwhile, suffered both injuries on one play in the first inning against the Giants on Thursday, as Alex Dickerson hit a foul tip that hit Stassi directly in the right knee. It caused the contusion and the quad strain because of the severity of the impact.

"It's really rare," Stassi said. "I guess the impact was so much that it strained the tendon on the VMO muscle, which is on the inside part of your knee. The impact was so big and come straight on it, and it actually strained the tendon there, which the trainer said that they've never really seen before."

Stassi isn’t sure how long he’ll be out, but he sounded hopeful that he won’t be out much longer than the 10-day requirement. Anthony Bemboom started in his place and will split duties with Jason Castro. But Castro has also been dealing with a stiff neck and has started just once since Aug. 14.

“It's kind of day to day right now, as far as how we're gonna progress and rehab,” Stassi said. “I'm not totally sure how long. Me, personally, I don't anticipate it being too long. It's kind of a day-to-day thing with the progression of the rehab.”