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SEATTLE — Mike Trout began swinging a bat on Saturday morning, another small step toward returning from the back ailment that has cost him nearly a month.
“Everything went well,” head athletic trainer Mike Frostad said of Trout’s session. “We’re going to go day to day and keep progressing. He’s got a progression that we’re going to try to map out and see if we can continue to increase a little bit every day.”
Trout has been out since July 12 with inflammation of his rib cage in his back. He had a cortisone injection during the All-Star break, and he had not swung a bat since before that.
Frostad said Trout has been running and throwing, so the only issue left is his swinging. He took swings without a ball on Saturday.
The Angels activated right-hander Oliver Ortega as the 27th man for the doubleheader and they added right-hander Mike Mayers to the roster.
They cleared a spot for Mayers by optioning right-hander Janson Junk, which means they’ll need someone else to take his next turn in the rotation on Wednesday in Oakland. It could be Mayers, who has been starting at Triple-A, or it could be right-hander Touki Toussaint.
The Angels cleared a 40-man roster spot for Mayers by placing right-hander Michael Lorenzen on the 60-day injured list. Lorenzen, who is out with a shoulder strain, is now eligible to return on Sept. 3. Frostad said Lorenzen is expected to throw off a mound sometime in the next week.
Infielder David Fletcher was not in the lineup for Game 1 of the doubleheader, but he is expected to play in Game 2. Fletcher bruised his foot when he was hit by a pitch on Thursday, and he’s also still working back to full strength after hip surgery. “He’s managing it and playing,” Frostad said. “I wouldn’t say it limits him too much, but we’ll just take that day by day.” The Angels brought infielder Michael Stefanic from Triple-A and placed him on the taxi squad to provide some insurance for Fletcher. …
Manager Phil Nevin said that right-hander Ryan Tepera was unavailable on Friday night because of some cramping, but he was expected to be available to pitch on Saturday.
Angels (LHP Tucker Davidson, 1-2, 6.46) at Mariners (LHP Marco Gonzales, 6-11, 3.95), Sunday, 1:10 p.m., Bally Sports West, 830 AM
Angels’ Mike Trout begins swinging a bat
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