It may be a few weeks before veteran infielder Zack Cozart is able to play his next spring training game for the Angels. Manager Brad Ausmus said Tuesday at Tempe Diablo Stadium that imaging revealed a Grade 1 strain in Cozart’s left calf.
“Grade 1 is the mildest grade, so that’s a plus,” Ausmus said.
Cozart was a late scratch from Sunday’s lineup. His calf had tightened up during morning workouts and the Angels decided it was best to let him rest. He reported feeling better the next day, but the Angels will continue to proceed with caution.
“He feels even much better today, which is a great sign,” Ausmus said Tuesday. “But he’s not going to be on the field for a few weeks.”
If Cozart is unable to recuperate in time for opening day, Taylor Ward, who converted to third base last year and has impressed the Angels with his continued growth at the position this spring, would be in line to earn a starting job out of camp. David Fletcher could also win the other opening in the infield.
Hermosillo closer to action
Outfielder Michael Hermosillo is nearing his return to full baseball activities.
“Today was the first time he had a look on his face where he said, ‘I feel much better,’” Ausmus said. “He’s finally trending in the right direction.”
Hermosillo has been dealing with scar tissue in an adductor muscle from an offseason operation to repair a sports hernia.
The delay in his return could prevent Hermosillo from making a solid enough case for himself to become the Angels’ fourth outfielder out of spring training.
“You don’t want to rush him back into games and play him every day because it might stress the injury,” Ausmus said. “So we’ll just wait and see when he’s able to play and how much time we have before the season starts and we’ll kind of gauge it from there.”
Now that he has a “B” game behind him, Matt Harvey is in line to make his first Cactus League start. He will pitch against the Colorado Rockies at Salt River Fields on Wednesday afternoon. … Andrew Heaney, who was slowed in camp for a few days because of inflammation in his left elbow, was scheduled to throw a bullpen session Tuesday. Should all go as planned, Heaney will start Friday’s game at Tempe Diablo Stadium.