Angels' Heaney hopes to test flexor strain soon

Angels' Heaney hopes to test flexor strain soon

OAKLAND -- The Angels measured the strength of players' grips during Spring Training, largely to get a baseline for follow-up testing during the season. Pitcher Andrew Heaney took part in it, and he did it again recently.

The grip with his left arm, the one that is nursing the flexor strain that currently has him on the disabled list, actually got stronger.

"Working hard, feeling good," said Heaney, traveling with his teammates for this 11-day road trip that began Monday against the A's. "Hopefully I'll be throwing soon."

Heaney isn't sure when exactly "soon" will be, though. He's still six days removed from suffering the ailment, but he's encouraged by his progress. The 24-year-old left-hander has been working out with Angels' physical therapist Bernard Li, doing his normal conditioning while also taking part in an assortment of range-of-motion tests and weighted-ball drills.

Heaney is probably still at least another week from playing catch, but at this point, early as it might be, he doesn't seem to think this will be an injury that will knock him out for very long.

"I want to push it, but within the confines of what they say is safe," Heaney said. "From there, we'll move forward."

Worth noting

Albert Pujols, now five months removed from surgery to his right foot, started his first regular-season game at first base on Monday, a position he played only twice over the course of Spring Training. Manager Mike Scioscia stated that Pujols' starts at first base will be decided on a day-by-day basis, saying: "We certainly don't want to push it; we're going to be conservative. But he knows his body. We'll listen to how he feels."

• Scioscia on Tyler Skaggs, who pitched three innings of one-run ball for Triple-A Salt Lake on Sunday: "First inning, he was kind of feeling for some stuff. But the last couple of innings, the reports were he was really executing his pitches well. That's the biggest thing Tyler needs to do, get that repetition and repeat his pitches. That will give him a chance to push his way onto our staff." Skaggs will start again Friday, going three to four innings.

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and Facebook , and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.