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Heaney downplays latest elbow inflammation

Cozart scratched; Upton progressing; Bour raking in Cactus League
@RhettBollinger
March 3, 2019

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Left-hander Andrew Heaney is dealing with elbow inflammation, and the Angels pushed him back from his scheduled start against the A’s on Sunday, starting veteran reliever Daniel Hudson instead. Heaney, though, downplayed the development, as he threw on Saturday and Sunday without any issues, including a long-toss

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Left-hander Andrew Heaney is dealing with elbow inflammation, and the Angels pushed him back from his scheduled start against the A’s on Sunday, starting veteran reliever Daniel Hudson instead.

Heaney, though, downplayed the development, as he threw on Saturday and Sunday without any issues, including a long-toss session from 120 feet on Sunday. He said he felt the inflammation after his start against the A’s on Tuesday but that it’s not serious enough to warrant an MRI. Heaney is expected to throw a bullpen session on Monday.

"Just kind of cropped up," Heaney said. "I just said something, and the [trainers] were like, 'Let’s get this out now.' They were pretty immediate with their determination."

Last spring, Heaney dealt with elbow inflammation that led to him starting the regular season on the disabled list, but he said this doesn’t feel as serious. Heaney, 27, had no issues after returning in mid-April, leading the Angels with 30 starts while posting a 4.15 ERA with 180 strikeouts, 45 walks and 27 home runs allowed in 180 innings.

Angels manager Brad Ausmus said he’s not sure when Heaney will make his next start, but he also stressed the injury is considered minor.

“We’re just being cautious with him being in Spring Training,” Ausmus said. “He’s progressing. I talked to him yesterday after he threw and he said he was fine. Right now is just long toss, but the next day, we’ll get him off the mound if he’s fine. He’s doing a lot better.”

Hudson, starting in place of Heaney, threw a scoreless first inning with a strikeout in his second Cactus League appearance and came away pleased with how he felt.

“I felt great,” Hudson said. “It was just a little bit different trying to line up times like the anthem time and things like that. But other than that, I just tried to treat it like a day coming out of the bullpen.”

Cozart scratched with left calf tightness

Third baseman Zack Cozart was scratched from Sunday's lineup with left calf tightness and will be reevaluated on Monday. Taylor Ward replaced Cozart in the lineup at third base.

Cozart is coming off surgery to repair the labrum in his left shoulder in June, but has only missed one game this spring due to shoulder discomfort. He’s otherwise been able to play third base without any issues.

“It’s just been tight for the last couple days,” Cozart said. “During warmups it felt OK, but during baserunning, it just kind of locked up on me. Nothing major. Just something stupid that happens out there. Just got tight on me, and there’s no point in going out there and pushing it any further than it has to. I’m a little sore because I got a lot of treatment and icing, but we’ll see how it goes tomorrow.”

Upton making progress

Left fielder Justin Upton, who has been dealing with right knee tendinitis, has been able to hit and participate in light outfield drills but still isn’t quite ready to make his Cactus League debut. The Angels are being cautious with Upton, who is expected to be ready for the start of the season.

“Just kind of starting move to around a little bit and getting my legs under me,” Upton said. “We should be moving forward soon. We’re just trying to make sure everything is 100 percent. I’m feeling good so we’re going to start moving along to more stuff.”

Bour’s work paying off

First baseman Justin Bour arrived to camp roughly a month early so he could get a head start working with hitting coaches Jeremy Reed and Shawn Wooten. Bour, 30, is coming off a down year by his usual standards, hitting .227/.341/.404 with 20 homers, 13 doubles and 59 RBIs in 141 games with the Marlins and Phillies.

But he's worked to change his hand placement and it paid off in his second at-bat of the spring on Saturday, as he ripped a two-run homer that left the stadium at Goodyear Ballpark. He was slowed early in camp by a right hamstring strain but said he's healthy now.

"The real changes to my swing since coming here is in my setup, making sure I'm in a good position to fire from," Bour said. "In past years, I feel like I've kind of fought against myself more or less in my swing. Working with Woot and with Reedy and all those guys, we're trying to make sure I'm in a good spot to hit to start."

Up next

Right-hander Trevor Cahill will make his second Cactus League start on Monday, when the Angels travel to Glendale, Ariz., to play the White Sox at 12:05 p.m. PT. Cahill struggled with his control in his first outing, allowing five runs on two hits and three walks. Bour will also be in the lineup at designated hitter before he moves on to playing first base for the first time this spring on Tuesday.

Rhett Bollinger covers the Angels for MLB.com. He previously covered the Twins from 2011-18. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.