Mike Trout is somehow having the best season of his already illustrious career, but otherwise the Angels’ top two players have been shortstop Andrelton Simmons and starter/DH Shohei Ohtani. For a Halos club that’s engaged in a tough division battle, then, it’s certainly worrisome to see both show up on the injury sheet.
Fortunately, there’s no reason at present to believe that either Simmons or Ohtani are dealing with serious maladies, as Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. But Simmons, the club’s magnificent shortstop, has been placed on the DL with a grade 2 ankle sprain. And Ohtani, who was pulled after four frames, will need to allow a blister to heal up before he takes his next start.
In the case of Simmons, the injury grade indicates that there is at least a slight tear to a ligament. Online sources, at least, suggest a potential recovery time in the range of two to six weeks, though the club has not yet offered a timeline specific to the player.
Any absence is most unwelcome, given that Simmons is both fielding and hitting at top-of-the-line levels thus far. Fortunately, Zack Cozart is also an outstanding defender at short, though obviously the loss of Simmons will mean plugging in less-polished options on the left side of the infield. Fletcher says the club expects to utilize Luis Valbuena, Jefry Marte, and Kaleb Cowart (who was recalled after just being optioned) in some combination at the hot corner.
As for Ohtani, skipper Mike Scioscia says that the blister does not seem to be as serious as one he experienced earlier in the season, when he was able to make his next scheduled start. However, his status will surely depend upon how this particular injury heals up.
Even if Ohtani does need some time away from the mound, it seems reasonable to anticipate that he’ll still be able to appear as a hitter. And despite some notable injuries to starters, the team still has five other worthwhile options to go to in the rotation. Youngster Jaime Barria has pitched well in seven starts this year and is waiting in the wings at Triple-A if he’s needed.