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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Angels Injury Update: Howie Kendrick, Matt Shoemaker, Josh Hamilton

By on 9/23/2014 07:30:00 PM

UPDATE: Howie Kendrick is back in the Angels' lineup Tuesday night.

ORIGINAL:The Los Angeles Angels have clinched the A.L. West and will likely win the top seed in the ALDS, which begins on Thursday, October 2. Three of the big pieces to their World Series puzzle are out with injuries, and they have just over a week to heal in time to make an impact on the postseason. Here are the latest updates on Howie Kendrick, Matt Shoemaker, and Josh Hamilton via Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register.

Howie Kendrick

According to Fletcher late Monday night, second baseman Howie Kendrick has a tight left hamstring and sat out Monday's game because of it. The September 23 Angels Injury Report lists him as day-to-day, and the Angels have not yet announced their Tuesday night lineup in Oakland. Kendrick, though, said that the hamstring tightness is minor, and Fletcher quoted him as saying, "I felt like I could have played, so it's no big deal. It's better to be cautious than to go out and play."

At this point, it is a good idea to make sure that Kendrick is 100% before pushing him back too fast for games that mean little to the Angels' postseason positioning. He strained the hamstring while covering first base during Sunday's game against the Rangers.

Kendrick is hitting .292 with 7 HR, 72 RBI, and 14 SB in 152 games this season.

Matt Shoemaker

Right-hander Matt Shoemaker might have to wait until the postseason to return to the mound. He last pitched on September 15 before straining his left oblique. He started playing catch Monday, but he reported soreness afterward. Fletcher quoted the big right-hander discussing how he felt. Said Shoemaker,
“Feeling good … but still sore. Last two days I’ve noticed the best progress, getting into a lot of physical activity, moving around. Still no timetable, but I feel very optimistic about getting on a mound again.” 
When asked if Shoemaker might pitch again before the regular season ends, manager Mike Scioscia called that possibility "very remote." Shoemaker, though, could return during the postseason, but Scioscia would have to name him to the roster before the start of the ALDS for him to become eligible to pitch in that series.

Shoemaker is 16-4 with a 3.04 ERA and 1.07 WHIP in 20 starts and seven relief appearances this year.

Josh Hamilton

Left fielder Josh Hamilton will likely return for the final weekend series against the Seattle Mariners. Hamilton is recovering from inflammation in his ribs. He received seven cortisone injections late last week and started hitting off a tee Monday. Scioscia said that it is too early to tell if Hamilton is ready, but the Angels Injury Report has him likely returning on September 26. Doing so will allow him to get some at bats before the ALDS begins. The Angels will have a three-day layoff once the regular season ends.

Hamilton is hitting .263 with 10 HR and 44 RBI in 89 games. He missed nearly half the season due mainly to a torn UCL in his thumb early on.

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