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Heaney fans 10 in scoreless rehab start

@RhettBollinger
May 20, 2019

ANAHEIM -- Lefty Andrew Heaney made an impressive first rehab start with Triple-A Salt Lake on Monday night, throwing 4 1/3 scoreless innings with 10 strikeouts. Heaney, on the 10-day injured list with left elbow inflammation suffered during Spring Training, allowed two hits and a walk while throwing 73 pitches,

ANAHEIM -- Lefty Andrew Heaney made an impressive first rehab start with Triple-A Salt Lake on Monday night, throwing 4 1/3 scoreless innings with 10 strikeouts.

Heaney, on the 10-day injured list with left elbow inflammation suffered during Spring Training, allowed two hits and a walk while throwing 73 pitches, including 46 for strikes. It was a strong showing for Heaney, who had been pitching in extended spring games before moving up to Triple-A on Monday. It was a solid enough showing that it could be his lone rehab start before being activated from the injured list.

"We just want him to come out of it healthy," Angels manager Brad Ausmus said. "We don't want any more issues with the arm."

The Angels haven't announced a starter for Sunday, so there's a chance Heaney could rejoin the rotation as early as this weekend. But there also remains a chance Heaney will make one more start at Triple-A to get his pitch count near 90 pitches before returning.

"That will be a discussion probably tomorrow," Ausmus said.

Heaney, who turns 28 on June 5, posted a 4.15 ERA with 180 strikeouts and 45 walks in 180 innings last year in a career-high 30 starts. He was a candidate to start on Opening Day this year before suffering his elbow injury in early March.

Ramirez throws two innings

Right-hander JC Ramírez, who is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, threw two innings and 26 pitches in a simulated game on Monday. Ramirez, who is being built up as a starter, will continue to increase his pitch count before he's ready for a rehab assignment. He's not expected to be ready to return until June.

"It was good," Ausmus said. "He felt good after."

Pujols out of the lineup

First baseman Albert Pujols was out of the lineup for a second straight day, but Ausmus said the Angels are just trying to be cautious with him to keep him healthy and productive going forward. Pujols, 39, is hitting .241/.307/.448 with eight homers and 23 RBIs in 40 games this year, including 19 games at first base.

"He'll be in there the next two days," Ausmus said. "I'm trying to avoid three days in a row [at first base]. In his defense, he says he feels great. I did use him three days in a row in Detroit. So there may be a situation where I go three days in a row with him again."

Garcia nearing a return

Reliever Luis Garcia, on the 10-day injured list with lower back stiffness since May 13, threw an all-fastball bullpen session on Sunday and will throw another with all of his pitches on Tuesday. He's eligible to return on Thursday, but the Angels have an off-day, so the earliest he could be reinstated is before Friday's game against the Rangers.

Mead to join Hall of Fame in late June

Angels vice president of communications Tim Mead, who was named the new president of the Baseball Hall of Fame on April 30, will begin in that capacity on June 24, the Hall of Fame announced Monday. Mead has worked for the Angels for 40 years, including the last 22 as the club's vice president of communications.

"I am pleased that my long-time friend, Tim Mead, will be available to transition into the role of president of the Hall of Fame in late June," said current president Jeff Idelson. "While we had no expectation that we would be fortunate enough to have him join the museum so quickly, this timeline is best for the institution. Therefore, I will be retiring as president at the end of June to help facilitate the transition. I look forward to returning for Hall of Fame Weekend to celebrate our six 2019 electees and our award winners, as well as Tim's first induction ceremony as president."

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