Krauss' back issues keeping him out of bench competition

Left-handed-hitting Angels slugger hoping to get back in lineup soon

Krauss' back issues keeping him out of bench competition

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Marc Krauss has turned a lot of heads this spring, going 9-for-18 with five walks and looking like an ideal fit as a left-handed power bat off the Angels' bench.

But a back injury is keeping him out.

Krauss recently tried to play through some mild back spasms, the kind he's occasionally dealt with throughout his career. On Monday, though, it was a little tighter than usual. And now Krauss is just waiting, hopeful it will only keep him out a couple of days so he can get back to fighting for one of the last roster spots.

Krauss is seemingly in competition with Efren Navarro, another left-handed-hitting first baseman and outfielder who's having a good spring (16-for-34).

"You never know with the back," said Krauss, who was feeling a little better Tuesday morning. "Sometimes it can be tricky. I'm hoping it doesn't [keep me out longer than expected]. I'm doing everything I can, and I know the staff is as well. I'm planning to be back out there in a couple days and get back into the swing of things."

Krauss' sacrifice fly

Some additional notes from Tuesday:

Josh Rutledge snapped an 0-for-12 with an eighth-inning single Tuesday, but is still batting only .205 in Cactus League play. Angels manager Mike Scioscia believes Rutledge is "pressing."

"He's definitely not where he needs to be," Scioscia added. Rutledge will get more at-bats in a "B" game Wednesday.

• Long reliever Cory Rasmus underwent surgery to treat a core injury in Arizona on Tuesday, a procedure that comes with a six- to eight-week recovery time. "Thanks to everyone for all the well wishes," Rasmus wrote on his Twitter account. "I'm looking forward to getting back on the field and playing the game we all love."

Mike Trout, an avid Philadelphia Eagles fan, met Eagles head coach Chip Kelly for the first time after he came out of Tuesday's game at Surprise Stadium. Kelly was in Arizona for NFL meetings.

• Angels leadoff hitter Kole Calhoun stayed away from swinging the bat Tuesday, one day after exiting a game early because of pain in his right hand. Calhoun doesn't believe it's anything serious.

David Freese hyperextended his left elbow on a play at third base in the sixth and was taken out the next inning. Scioscia said Freese was done for the day anyway and he should be fine.

Matt Joyce, slowed by a tight right hamstring, did some running drills at the Angels' complex Tuesday and is expected to start in left field Wednesday if he feels good that morning. Joyce has played in only one game -- as the designated hitter Monday -- since March 16.

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.