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Heaney throws off mound for 1st time in rehab

Left-hander Andrew Heaney threw off the mound Monday for the first time since Tommy John surgery in July. (AP)
March 28, 2017

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Angels left-hander Andrew Heaney took a significant step forward in his rehab from Tommy John surgery Monday, throwing off the mound for the first time since the July operation."It was brief, but it was exciting," said Heaney, who threw 10 pitches off the rubber from 42 feet.Heaney,

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Angels left-hander Andrew Heaney took a significant step forward in his rehab from Tommy John surgery Monday, throwing off the mound for the first time since the July operation.
"It was brief, but it was exciting," said Heaney, who threw 10 pitches off the rubber from 42 feet.
Heaney, 25, made only one start for the Angels in 2016 before being diagnosed with a damaged ulnar collateral ligament. He initially tried stem-cell therapy, but his elbow didn't respond to treatment, and he was ultimately forced to undergo ligament-replacement surgery.
Heaney, acquired from the Dodgers in the Howie Kendrick trade, went 6-4 with a 3.49 ERA in 18 starts for the Angels in 2015.
The Angels do not expect Heaney back until 2018, but he hopes to pitch in some capacity before the end of the season.
Worth noting
• Shortstop Andrelton Simmons was out of the Angels' lineup for a third consecutive day with lower back stiffness, though he said he's improving and expects to return Thursday for the Freeway Series opener at Angel Stadium.
• Right-hander Ricky Nolasco made his final tune-up of the spring on Tuesday, pitching three innings against the Triple-A Cubs in Mesa. He allowed two runs on two hits, including a home run, while striking out six and walking none in the 42-pitch outing. Manager Mike Scioscia wouldn't reveal when Nolasco would pitch next, though he will likely start one of the Angels' games against the A's next week in Oakland.
• Right-hander Richard Parker struck out the side in the sixth inning Tuesday in a 14-3 win over the Athletics, and has retired 11 of the last 12 batters he's faced dating to March 22. All 11 of those outs have come via strikeout. The 31-year-old has a 0.87 ERA with 18 strikeouts and two walks in 10 1/3 Cactus League innings, making a strong bid for inclusion in the Angels' bullpen.

Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com.