David Fletcher has been dealing with nagging hip issues since Spring Training that caused him to miss plenty of time this season and struggle while he was on the field, so the Los Angeles Angels’ utility infielder underwent surgery to correct the issue in the middle of May.
The surgery was expected to keep him out multiple months, which set him up for a potential return in late July. Fletcher has continued to keep a similar timeline, but he could possibly return in the middle of the month rather than near the end.
The 28-year-old has already began some baseball actives, with more expected to resume soon, according to Jeff Fletcher of the O.C. Register:
Infielder David Fletcher (hip surgery) said he has been running and throwing and hitting flips and off a tee. He still has not taken ground balls, but that’s coming soon.
Before he returns, Fletcher will likely go on a rehab assignment, which will probably take a week or two of games. He is eligible to be activated in the first week of July, and hopes to return soon after he is allowed to be activated:
Fletcher said he is expecting to do a rehab assignment, which could still be “a couple weeks away.”
Fletcher is eligible to come off the injured list on July 7. He said he will probably not” make that date, but “I don’t think too far after.”
The fan-favorite was hitting just .158/.220/.263 with a 42 wRC+ and zero WAR in 14 games played prior to the injury. To fill the hole in his absence, the Angels called on veteran Andrew Velazquez, who has provided great defense for the club.
Angels planned to play Fletcher at second base more
Although he opened the season as the Angels starting shortstop, former manager Joe Maddon liked how Velazquez filled in, so he planned to play Fletcher at second base more often to keep “Squid” in the lineup.
However, with Anthony Rendon out for the season, it should be easier to keep both of them in the lineup. It also remains to be seen what interim manager Phil Nevin plans once both players are on the field, but a likely scenario could see Fletcher at second, Velazquez at shortstop, and Matt Duffy as the primary third baseman.