Simmons nearly ready to return to lineup

Simmons nearly ready to return to lineup

ANAHEIM -- Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons was held out of the starting lineup Wednesday for a third straight game, but he said his bruised right hand "feels a lot better."

The Angels are hopeful Simmons could play in Thursday's series opener against the Blue Jays. Simmons took grounders on the field and took swings before Wednesday's series finale against the Mariners. It was the first time he picked up a bat since Monday, when he was scratched from the lineup two hours before the first pitch.

"I was just trying to play, but the soreness was a little too much hitting wise," Simmons said. "I couldn't really swing the bat or be any type of effective or help. I was not going to help the team. It's feeling better, though."

Simmons injured his hand in Sunday's win over the Rangers when he collided with Carlos Gomez on a rundown in the eighth inning.

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.