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Angels place Smith on concussion list

Simmons gets good news on ankle; Heaney's return imminent
@RhettBollinger
May 23, 2019

ANAHEIM -- The Angels received mixed news yet again when it came to injury updates on Wednesday, as backup catcher Kevan Smith was placed on the 7-day concussion list, while shortstop Andrelton Simmons was told he won’t need surgery on his left ankle, though there’s still no timetable for his

ANAHEIM -- The Angels received mixed news yet again when it came to injury updates on Wednesday, as backup catcher Kevan Smith was placed on the 7-day concussion list, while shortstop Andrelton Simmons was told he won’t need surgery on his left ankle, though there’s still no timetable for his return.

With Smith out, the Angels selected the contract of catcher Dustin Garneau from Triple-A Salt Lake. The Angels are still trying to determine the severity of Smith’s concussion, which was suffered after he took a foul tip off his mask in Tuesday’s 8-3 loss.

“Initially, out of the game it seemed like, from the testing, it was rather on the severe side, but then dropped off pretty quickly within a couple hours,” Angels manager Brad Ausmus said. “But [he] still had symptoms this morning, thus the concussion IL.”

Garneau was hitting .247/.368/.589 with six homers and 13 RBIs in 23 games at Triple-A. The 31-year-old has played in parts of four seasons in the Majors with the Rockies, A's and White Sox, slashing .194/.269/.321.

“This is what every guy wants to play for, to be in the big leagues,” Garneau said. “Obviously, the circumstances with Kevan getting hit is not ideal and definitely sucks, but I'm here to do whatever I can to help the team win and stay."

Simmons, meanwhile, met with a specialist on Tuesday, but until the swelling subsides in his ankle in a week or two he won’t know how long he’ll be out. He was placed on the injured list on Tuesday and is expected to miss several weeks, and possibly even two to three months with the injury.

"From what I heard before, it was actually good,” Simmons said of his appointment. “It is what it is. It's Grade 3, so it's not the best type of sprain but it's not a high ankle, no surgery is required. But we've still got to see when the swelling goes down and how we progress from there. I don't know a timeline yet, but I did come out positive from the meeting today."

Heaney could return Sunday

Left-handed starter Andrew Heaney is scheduled for a light bullpen session on Friday and could join the rotation as early as Sunday against the Rangers. He threw 4 1/3 scoreless innings with 10 strikeouts in his first rehab start with Triple-A Salt Lake on Monday, reaching 73 pitches.

“I didn't quite hit the five innings in Salt Lake, but I hit the pitch limit,” Heaney said. “I felt good. I felt good mechanically. I think it's just up to them, and the progression they want to see and if I've done what they want me to do. I think the day after the side [session] they will make a decision then."

Ausmus said the club is trying to determine how Heaney would fit into the rotation, and there’s even a chance they could go to six starters. But Heaney has been encouraged by how he’s been feeling and is hopeful to return on Sunday.

"I've been feeling good physically and mechanically for weeks now,” Heaney said. “I've really been feeling pretty dialed in. I think the pitch-limit threshold is what you want to see. I think results are good, but it doesn't really dictate for me how I view an outing, if that makes sense."

Angels, Twins visit children’s hospital

Angels players Mike Trout, Luke Bard and Tyler Skaggs, as well as Twins players Nelson Cruz, Blake Parker and Kyle Gibson all visited with patients at the Children’s Hospital of Orange County on Wednesday. Both organizations had a similar visit on May 14, when players from clubs visited Gillette Children’s Specialty Care.

Ohtani held out of lineup

Designated hitter Shohei Ohtani was going to be given a day off on Wednesday, but the series finale was moved to Thursday due to unsafe field conditions at Angel Stadium. Ohtani, who was hit on his right ring finger by a pitch on Monday, has started 13 of the 15 games the Angels have played since his return on May 7.

“This was planned from three days ago,” Ausmus said. “He knew about [it] long before he was hit in the finger.”

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