ANAHEIM -- Left-hander Tyler Skaggs, on the injured list with a left ankle sprain, said his 44-pitch bullpen session went well on Saturday, but manager Brad Ausmus said Skaggs is expected to throw off a mound one more time before he’s activated to rejoin the rotation.
Skaggs, who injured his ankle while trying to field a bunt at Wrigley Field on April 12, is eligible to return on Tuesday, but barring a surprise, he’s not expected to be activated until later in the week.
“He’s all right,” Ausmus said. “He’s still a little sore. He felt it a little bit. It’s nothing that should stop him going forward. We’ll probably do another side with him in a couple days and then make a decision after that.”
Skaggs said that he’s able to pitch without much discomfort, but that he’s not sure how the ankle would respond with breaks between innings instead of throwing a continuous bullpen session.
“There's not much pain, at all,” Skaggs said. “It's more of just like, continuously throwing like 100 pitches, sit down, get up, sit down, get up -- that's going to be tough. I might surprise you guys, though. I might toe the slab sooner than you guys think."
Skaggs, though, said the training staff wants to be cautious with him because they don’t want the injury to linger. Last year, he dealt with a left groin strain in the second half that bothered him when he pushed off the rubber, and he said that the ankle injury is similar because it’s on his push-off foot.
“That's kind of why I need to be smart about this,” Skaggs said. “We went down this road last year. I need to really be confident in it, and if not, I'll throw another bullpen and get right back into it.
"I'll leave it up to them, though. I feel good. Once again, I've down this road before. It's tough to get Major League hitters out when you're not 100 percent."
Umps care auction underway
A game-used baseball from Albert Pujols' 3,000th-hit game, a Skaggs autographed baseball and Angels batting practice passes are among the items up for auction as part of the 11th Annual UMPS CARE Charities fundraiser.
The auction goes through 7 p.m. PT on Monday, April 29, and provides financial help for a number of youth programs for critically ill-children, at-risk youth and military families. For more information or to make a bid, visit here.
Angels experimenting with Thaiss at third
Thaiss, who had a strong Spring Training, broke out of a 1-for-27 slump with his first homer of the season on Saturday, and entered Sunday hitting .217/.319/.333 with the lone homer and four RBIs in 15 games. The Angels need to see more power from Thaiss before he’s called up to make his Major League debut. He has only 11 homers in 100 career games in Triple-A despite playing in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League.
Pujols gets planned day off
Pujols was held out of the starting lineup on Sunday, as Ausmus told Pujols during batting practice on Saturday that he planned to have him start the game on the bench. Pujols, 39, entered Sunday batting .238/.351/.429 with three homers, three doubles and 11 RBIs in 20 games this year. On Saturday, Pujols had two RBIs, including a solo homer, to give him 1,993 career RBIs, which passed Babe Ruth's total since 1920, which is when RBIs became an official statistic.
“I think it’s important that, to keep him healthy, there are going to be days we have to give him off,” Ausmus said.