TODAY: Simmons updated Hoornstra (Twitter links) and other reporters on his status today, including the good news that surgery won’t be required. Once the swelling around the ankle goes down in another week or two, Simmons and the team will have a better sense of how long it will be before the shortstop is able to return to action.
TUESDAY, 6:57pm: Simmons, moving around the clubhouse on crutches, didn’t have a timeline for his return when asked by reporters, J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group tweets. MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger tweets that the typical recovery timeline would range from eight to 12 weeks, but the Angels won’t know for certain until tomorrow.
4:42pm: The Angels announced that shortstop Andrelton Simmons has been diagnosed with a Grade 3 ankle sprain and been placed on the 10-day injured list. He’ll see a specialist tomorrow, after which the team will provide more details on his expected timeline. However, a Grade 3 sprain is severe (indicating a ligament tear), so Simmons will quite likely be on the shelf for an extended period of time. Luis Rengifo is up from Triple-A Salt Lake to take his spot on the active roster.
It’s a huge blow for the Angels, who saw both Simmons and Shohei Ohtani exit last night’s game due to injury. Thankfully, there’s better news on Ohtani, who is feeling better today after being hit by a pitch last night. He’s in the lineup for the Angels tonight.
The 29-year-old Simmons, in addition to long being known as perhaps baseball’s premier defensive player, has progressed offensively in recent seasons as well. He’d been out to a .298/.323/.415 start with three home runs, 13 doubles and five steals through his first 195 plate appearances on the year. That’s a tough all-around asset for any team to lose, and Simmons’ absence will be felt all the more by an Angels club that is also still without left fielder Justin Upton in the middle of its lineup.
The Angels entered the season with aspirations of returning to the postseason for the first time since a 2014 trip to the American League Division Series (where they lost to the Royals). But between injuries to key players such as Upton and Andrew Heaney and poor performances from offseason rotation additions like Matt Harvey, Trevor Cahill and Chris Stratton (now with the Pirates), the Angels find themselves three games under .500 (22-25) and already nine and a half games back of the Astros in the American League West. The team’s three-and-a-half game deficit in the American League Wild Card race is far more manageable, but the loss of Simmons will obviously further lessen their chances.