Angels put Simmons on IL; Ohtani OK after scare

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Wednesday, May 22, 2019

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Angels received equal bits of good and bad news Tuesday.

Shohei Ohtaniwas fine, a day after he was hit on the right ring finger while swinging on a third strike.

But the Angels are going to be without Andrelton Simmons for a while.

The shortstop was placed on the 10-day injured list after he hurt his left ankle during Monday's loss to the Minnesota Twins. Simmons sustained a grade 3 ankle sprain when he tried to beat out an infield hit during the eighth inning. Simmons and Ohtani were injured on consecutive at-bats and during a three-pitch span.

"I was just trying to get there and I guess miscalculated a little bit," Simmons said. "I haven't even seen the replay yet, heard a little bit about it. That's the first time I actually lunged at first and didn't work out well for me."

The injury is a blow to the Angels' offense. Simmons, the team's cleanup hitter, was leading the majors in hits (44) since April 15 and was batting .341 in that span. He was the AL's Gold Glove winner at shortstop the past two seasons. Simmons was tied for fourth in the American League in hits (56) and tied for fifth in doubles (13) going into Tuesday.

He was put on the injured list due to a sprained ankle for the second straight season -- he had a grade 2 sprain to the right ankle last year when he twisted it on the dugout steps before a game.

Simmons will see a foot and ankle specialist Wednesday. The Angels recalled Luis Rengifo from Triple-A Salt Lake to fill the roster spot.

"I'm not too concerned. Hopefully, I come back fast. I'm going to try to do whatever the staff tells me so I can get back on the field and help the team," Simmons said. "Once the swelling goes down, we'll see where we're at."

Manager Brad Ausmus said that David Fletcher, Zack Cozart and Rengifo will split time at shortstop. Fletcher, hitting .289, was in the lineup on Tuesday. Albert Pujols will bat fourth most of the time while Simmons is out.

"It's a huge blow. I mean, he's one of the best all-around players in the game," Ausmus said. "His defense is probably more valuable than a lot of players' bats. Regardless of the length of time, it's a big blow."

Ohtani, who came off the injured list May 7, has been rehabbing from Tommy John surgery. He is batting .250 but has only two hits in his past 14 at-bats.