Tommy La Stella without timetable for return


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ANAHEIM — Angels infielder Tommy La Stella, who has been out since July 2 with a fractured right tibia sustained on a foul tip, said he’s getting closer to starting baseball activities, but that he has no specific timetable for his return just yet.
La Stella, an All-Star for the

ANAHEIM — Angels infielder Tommy La Stella, who has been out since July 2 with a fractured right tibia sustained on a foul tip, said he’s getting closer to starting baseball activities, but that he has no specific timetable for his return just yet.

La Stella, an All-Star for the first time this year, is still a few weeks away from a return, as the original prognosis in early July was an 8-10 week absence, which puts him on track to rejoin the Angels in early-to mid-September. La Stella has been jogging using a gravity-altering treadmill, and also walking on a regular treadmill without any issues.

“Started out walking slowly and increasing the intensity until it got to a light jog,” La Stella said. “Just taking it day by day.”

La Stella has also been playing some light catch, but he hasn’t been cleared to swing a bat or field grounders. He said he’s hopeful to progress to more baseball activities soon, but first has to get through his running program.

“I wouldn’t say we have a timetable yet, but I’d like to think we’re getting close,” La Stella said. “Hopefully, sometime soon we’ll get off the AlterG and get on flat ground.”

The Angels have certainly missed La Stella, who was hitting .300/.353/.495 with 16 homers, seven doubles and 44 RBIs in 78 games before suffering the injury. He was named an All-Star just three days before the injury and missed playing in the game as a result. La Stella, 30, had never hit more than five homers in a season before this year, entering with a combined 10 homers over five years with the Braves and Cubs.

“I’d say I definitely reflected on it,” La Stella said of his success. “Just knowing I’d be down for a couple months, I wanted to keep in mind what I was thinking at the plate and in the field so that I could stay somewhat fresh for when I got back. But yeah, going over some video from earlier this year, and even years past to keep it fresh in my mind.”

Mejia reinstated, Ramirez outrighted

Reliever Adalberto Mejía was reinstated from the restricted list after missing two games due to personal reasons, while fellow reliever JC Ramirez was outrighted to Triple-A Salt Lake. Ramirez, who was out of Minor League options, cleared waivers and can elect free agency or remain with the Angels on a Minor League contract.

Ramirez has had trouble with his velocity since returning from Tommy John surgery, making five relief appearances and posting a 4.50 ERA with four strikeouts and one walk in eight innings. Ramirez’s fastball averaged 95.5 mph when he was healthy in 2017, but it averaged 91 mph this year.

“I think the velocity difference was sizeable,” Angels manager Brad Ausmus said. “The pitches themselves didn’t necessarily look that much different other than velocity change. We talked to him today, and he has to sort through his options.”

Middleton to move up to AAA

Reliever Keynan Middleton (Tommy John surgery) will continue his rehab assignment, moving up to pitch with Salt Lake on Friday after making two appearances with Class A Advanced Inland Empire. Middleton threw 1 2/3 scoreless innings with four strikeouts and two walks.

He’s expected to need roughly two to three relief appearances at Triple-A before being reinstated from the 60-day injured list. Middleton hasn’t appeared in the Majors since May 13, 2018.

Rhett Bollinger covers the Angels for MLB.com. He previously covered the Twins from 2011-18. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.



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