The Angels are close to getting their ace back.
According to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles, Jered Weaver threw 60 pitches yesterday in a four-inning simulated game without pain.
Weaver has been sidelined since the end of May with a lower back strain. He is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Sunday, after which the Angels will make a decision about whether he’s ready to rejoin the starting rotation.
“Everything looked great, he looked really sharp,” Scioscia said. “But we’ll see how he feels tomorrow and how he comes out of his bullpen Sunday before thinking about fitting him back in.”
Weaver, 29, had a 2.61 ERA and 57/15 K/BB ratio over his first 11 starts prior to the injury. The Angels are 10-6 during his absence and currently sit four games behind the first-place Rangers in the American League West.
Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.
Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.
The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.
If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.