Los Angeles Angels starting middle infielder David Fletcher managed to play just 14 games in 2022 before injuries to both hips sidelined him indefinitely. For some time, the projection on his return was somewhere around mid-July, but now it appears that late July to early August is more likely.
At the same time, the Angels have also seen injuries to pitchers Michael Lorenzen (shoulder) and Jimmy Herget (shoulder). Both are on the 15-day IL, with Herget a little farther along in his recovery than Lorenzen. Hopefully, both can be activated as soon as their 15-day window comes.
All three players got public injury updates on Tuesday, and it was perhaps one of the more hopeful statuses of the season, with Fletcher, Lorenzen, and Herget taking a big step towards returning, according to Sam Blum of The Athletic:
• David Fletcher (hips) started a rehab assignment with Triple-A Salt Lake on Tuesday.
• Michael Lorenzen (shoulder) played catch Tuesday.
• Jimmy Herget (shoulder) threw a bullpen Tuesday.
Fletcher beginning a rehab assignment with Triple-A Salt Lake is a massive step towards his eventual return to the lineup. While no exact date has been given by the Angels, it’s been rumored that a July 28 return is being targeted. About two weeks for a rehab assignment makes sense for such a significant injury.
Getting Fletcher back into the lineup would be a massive boost for the Angels. Depth at the bottom of the lineup showed itself to be a serious issue in his absence, and getting a player who has shown an elite ability to make contact and get on base could work wonders for the Halos offense.
As for Herget and Lorenzen, getting both back as soon as possible would obviously be ideal. Lorenzen could be activated from the IL as soon as July 19, but only playing catch on July 12 makes that return date appear unlikely.
Herget, meanwhile, has not played in a game since June 21, but was finally able to throw off of a mound. This is one of the final steps in a pitcher’s rehab process, meaning he could return to the bullpen very shortly. Herget was having his best season as a pro before injuring his shoulder, and hopes to continue it when he returns.
Perry Minasian undecided on trade deadline plans
Taking a zoomed out approach to the Angels season, Perry Minasian has some big decisions on his mind with the trade deadline approaching. At 38-50, the Halos are unlikely to make any sort of playoff push. But still, Minasian won’t commit to being buyers or sellers at the deadline.
Instead, he wants to give the team as much time as possible to get on a winning streak of some kind. Then, as Aug. 2’s deadline gets closer, he’ll make a more defined decision.