The last time
Now, with Andrelton Simmons probably out until July, the
Simmons will soon undergo surgery to repair a full tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb, the Angels announced Monday. He suffered the injury in the third inning of Sunday's loss to Tampa Bay and immediately exited the game.
After diving to his right to field a grounder hit by
A torn thumb UCL kept Houston infielder
Pennington, a utilityman signed for two years and $3.75 million, figures to take on the majority of shortstop starts in Simmons' absence. Third baseman
The only other player on the Angels' 40-man roster who has played the position recently is Rey Navarro. He could be called up from triple-A Salt Lake on Tuesday.
The Angels hoped for significant offensive contributions from the 26-year-old Simmons, but he had not hit well since they traded their top two pitching prospects to acquire him from Atlanta in November.
He put the ball into play often — 108 times in 118 plate appearances — but notched only five extra-base hits. His average was .219, his on-base percentage .246, and his slugging percentage .281, all below his career averages.
But his defense has been typically superb, with several highlight-quality plays, and Pennington's offense has not been noticeably better. In 47 plate appearances, he has hit .175, with a .267 on-base mark and .325 slugging. Simmons' career OPS is .658; Pennington's is .656.
Simmons will join the Angels' top two starting pitchers, Garrett Richards and
The Angels are 13-18, fourth in the
General Manager Billy Eppler said he is confident the roster he has assembled is up to the prodigious task.
"You deal with the adversity as it comes," Eppler said Monday. "That is what I believe mental toughness is. It's being your best in all circumstances and persisting in the face of adversity. This group has been mentally tough. Historically, they've shown that. I expect them to keep fighting because I know they will, I know these guys."