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Trout returned from groin injury at DH

Ohtani to continue rehab progression; Angels make roster moves
@RhettBollinger
April 15, 2019

ARLINGTON -- Mike Trout returned to the lineup for the Angels' 12-7 loss to the Rangers on Monday after missing three games with a strained right groin sustained while running the bases last Tuesday. Trout returned as a designated hitter for precautionary reasons and was helped by an off-day on

ARLINGTON -- Mike Trout returned to the lineup for the Angels' 12-7 loss to the Rangers on Monday after missing three games with a strained right groin sustained while running the bases last Tuesday.

Trout returned as a designated hitter for precautionary reasons and was helped by an off-day on Thursday and a snowed-out game against the Cubs on Sunday. He didn’t go on the trip to Chicago and met the team in Texas on Monday.

Trout finished the game 0-for-2 with three walks and two runs scored against the Rangers.

"I feel great," Trout said before the game. "I’m just excited to get back. Obviously, just seeing the team go on the road and I’m not traveling, it sucks. But I had to get right and I feel 100 percent, ready to go.”

Trout said weather played into the club’s decision to keep him from going to Chicago, but that ultimately it was for the best because it gave his groin an extra few days to heal.

“I think the weather in Chicago had a factor,” Trout said. “You know when you’re dealing with an injury you can’t control Mother Nature. If we had a rain delay or something, come in and sitting out -- they didn’t want me to do that. Made sure I just got fully healthy. I think that if I would have came back in Chicago, I probably would have been about 80 percent. Now I feel fine, I feel good. I’m excited.”

Trout said he rehabbed the injury at Angel Stadium over the weekend and participated in drills to make sure he was ready to go. He said running in a straight line was never the issue, but that he had to try out running the bases and cutting in the outfield before returning. He’s hopeful he could return to center field on Tuesday.

"I tested it," Trout said. "But obviously, you can’t go out there and be game speed. It just is what it is. Obviously, I got to make sure I’m smart about it. But I don’t feel anything right now and feel 100 percent. So I’m happy about that.”

Angels manager Brad Ausmus is also optimistic about Trout’s chances of returning to center field in the second game of the series.

“If I were wagering, I would say the odds are better than 50-50,” Ausmus said.

Ohtani sees doctor
Shohei Ohtani had his scheduled check-up with a doctor on Monday and all went well, which means he will progress to facing live pitching in roughly a week. Ohtani, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery on Oct. 1, remains on track to return in May as a DH.

Ohtani started hitting off a pitching machine on the field at Angel Stadium over the weekend, and his final major step will be facing live pitching. The Angels aren’t sure how much pitching he’ll need to face before he returns, and there remains a chance he could require a Minor League rehab assignment before coming back.

"It’s still to be determined how he’s facing live pitching, that’s still up in the air," Ausmus said. "If he faces a live pitcher in a simulated game, he could get 10 at-bats in a game. Once we determine where he’s gong to do the live, it gives us a better idea of how long it will take. Some of it depends on how he feels. We still have to decide [on a rehab assignment]. There is something to be said for competing in a baseball game environment."

Angels make roster moves
Before Monday's game, the Angels placed left-hander Tyler Skaggs on the 10-day injured list with a left ankle sprain retroactive to Saturday and optioned third baseman Taylor Ward to Triple-A Salt Lake. Right-handers Jaime Barria and John Curtiss were recalled from Triple-A to take their roster spots.

Skaggs said he injured his ankle while trying to field a bunt from Chicago’s Kyle Schwarber in the fourth inning of Friday’s 5-1 loss. He accidentally stepped in the hole created by Cubs lefty Cole Hamels and suffered a grade 1 ankle sprain.

“It’s fine,” Skaggs said. “But I haven’t really done anything side to side so I couldn’t tell you. But it’s kind of a freak thing. I am kind of accustomed to the freak things now to the point where it is what it is. It’s upsetting but I now it’s nothing serious. Just kind of I want to get on top of it now so it doesn’t linger around for a long time.”

Ausmus, though, said the Angels are hopeful that Skaggs will miss just one start before returning. With Skaggs out, the Angels’ starter is to be determined for Tuesday, while right-hander Matt Harvey gets the nod in the series finale on Wednesday. Barria is a candidate to start on Tuesday but could also be used in relief.

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