Nava, Rasmus join crowded Angels disabled list

Nava, Rasmus join crowded Angels disabled list

LOS ANGELES -- The Angels' disabled list grew to nine players on Tuesday, with left fielder Daniel Nava and long reliever Cory Rasmus each nursing groin strains that will keep them out a couple of weeks.

Outfielder Rafael Ortega and reliever A.J. Achter were called up to replace them, bringing more turmoil to a Triple-A Salt Lake roster that is feeling aftershocks from the Angels' rash of injuries.

"It's a revolving door out there," Achter said Tuesday, five days after being sent down to Triple-A for the second time this season. "There's no real continuity because of the injuries up here."

The Angels' Major League DL doesn't include Tyler Skaggs, who was optioned to Triple-A to begin the season. It does include three other starting pitchers (Garrett Richards, Andrew Heaney, C.J. Wilson), two left fielders (Nava and Craig Gentry), one shortstop (Andrelton Simmons), one utility infielder (Cliff Pennington), one closer (Huston Street) and one long reliever (Rasmus).

The Angels have used 35 players, fewer than only the Rangers (36) and Twins (37) in the American League, and they've had six players land on the shelf since the start of May.

The Salt Lake Bees have noticed.

They had a bullpen game on Friday, started by reliever Chris O'Grady, and had to start outfielder Todd Cunningham at third base and third baseman Kaleb Cowart at shortstop. The Bees then flew to Colorado Springs the next day and endured an 18-inning game, forcing outfielder Quintin Berry to get on the mound and throw 41-mph eephus pitches.

"It was nuts," Achter said, "especially in Colorado Springs, where the ball flies all over the place. It's not the best place to pitch."

Rasmus tweaked his right groin when he last pitched on Thursday and didn't improve, prompting the Angels to place him on the shelf. The 28-year-old right-hander has struggled to a 5.59 ERA, a 1.40 WHIP and a 0.92 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 19 1/3 innings. He is eligible to be activated as early as May 28.

"It's contagious in this area," Rasmus said of groin injuries. "Stay away."

Nava tweaked his groin while backing up Mike Trout on a fly ball in the early stages of Monday night's 7-6 victory at Dodger Stadium. The 33-year-old switch-hitter was just 10 days into his return from a three-week absence from tendinitis in his left knee and was starting to show positive signs at the plate, with five hits over his previous four games.

Ortega -- 15-for-51 in a prior stint with the Angels -- will start in Nava's place against right-handers.

"I've never had an issue like this before, so I don't have anything to compare it to, to have a baseline," said Nava, with a .222/.286/.311 slash line in 49 plate appearances. "Everything that they're telling me is that they don't think it should be more than two weeks, just based on where it's located on the muscle. That's great news for me, but obviously it's frustrating because things were just getting going."

Worth noting

• Wilson is slated to throw a second simulated game on Friday at Angel Stadium, four days after a three-inning, 45-pitch simulated game at Dodger Stadium. If Friday goes well, Wilson hopes to start pitching in Minor League rehab games. The 35-year-old left-hander is aiming to return right around the time he's first eligible, on June 2. Based on his current plan, he can pitch in two or three Minor League games before then.

• The Angels' agreement with veteran starting pitcher Tim Lincecum is still at least a day or two from completion. The two sides must first iron out contractual details, and then Lincecum must pass a physical examination, which isn't necessarily a formality, given his hip surgery. Lincecum would probably need three to four weeks before he is deemed ready to pitch in the Major League rotation. The 31-year-old right-hander hasn't appeared in a game since June.

• The Angels have agreed on a Minor League deal with veteran lefty David Huff, who will be stretched out as a starting pitcher and could serve as a long reliever in the Majors. Huff has a 5.08 ERA in 388 Major League innings, spread out over seven seasons, and recently exercised his opt-out from his Minor League deal with the Royals. Lefty reliever Neal Cotts exercised his opt-out with the Angels, who have 48 hours to add him to the roster or grant his release.

• A story on Monday stated that Heaney had a platelet-rich plasma injection in his injured elbow a couple of weeks ago, but Heaney actually had stem-cell therapy, which is the same procedure rotation-mate Richards opted for on Monday. The Angels initially identified Heaney's non-surgical alternative as a PRP shot, which is a similar concept. Stem-cell therapy involves extracting stem cells from bone marrow and injecting them into the damaged ulnar collateral ligament.

Alden Gonzalez has covered the Angels for since 2012. 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.