Soto, Rasmus near returns to Angels

Soto, Rasmus near returns to Angels

ANAHEIM -- Catcher Geovany Soto and reliever Cory Rasmus are both getting closer to returning from injuries and joining the Angels.

Soto, on the disabled list since Aug. 15 with right knee inflammation, went though another full defensive workout on Monday at Angel Stadium. He caught a bullpen session and worked on blocking drills, while also running the bases and taking swings.

"As far as swinging the bat, he's really looking good in batting practice," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "There's no effect at all from the knee on the swing. But he's got to get into just some higher-profile workouts on the defensive side just to test his knee, and that's what we're doing right now."

The Angels and Soto are hopeful he can return to the Majors before the end of the season, though it's doubtful he would be able to appear in Minor League rehab games before being activated, as rookie-level Orem is the only affiliate still playing and its season ends this week.

Rasmus, on the DL since June 13 with a right groin strain, pitched for Orem on Saturday and Sunday. In three rehab outings with the Owlz, Rasmus has worked three innings, allowing two hits with two strikeouts against one walk. The right-hander will continue to rehab with Orem and is likely to make two more appearances, according to Scioscia.

Worth noting

Andrelton Simmons was scratched from Monday's starting lineup about two hours before first pitch against the Mariners, the result of a right hand contusion. Simmons had his right hand wrapped after Sunday's win over the Rangers and mentioned he jammed it during a rundown in the eighth inning. Simmons took grounders on the field on Monday before being scratched.

Austin Laymance is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.