Kendrys Morales plans to begin running bases next week

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Kendrys Morales is ready for a big step forward.

According to beat writer Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times, the Angels slugger told reporters in spring camp Wednesday that he is planning to begin running the bases next week.

Morales has progressed recently from straight-line jogging to taking zig-zag cuts, and has experienced no issues with the ankle that he fractured during a walkoff home run celebration nearly two years ago.

He’s on pace to be nearly 100 percent by the start of the 2012 regular season.

“Every day I’m feeling better,” Morales said through an interpreter. “My strength is getting better, I’m getting better push off my legs, and I’ve had no next-day soreness.”

Morales will serve as Anaheim’s primary designated hitter this season if his left ankle cooperates.

White Sox slugger Jiménez sidelined with bruised foot

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
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CHICAGO — Chicago White Sox outfielder Eloy Jimenez has a sprained right foot, likely sidelining the slugger for a pivotal season-ending series against the crosstown Cubs.

The White Sox had dropped a season-high five in a row heading into the weekend set, falling out of first place in the AL Central. They are hoping to get back on track heading into their playoff appearance since 2008, but the health of Jimenez is a concern.

Jimenez, who is batting .296 with 14 homers and 41 RBIs, was injured sliding across home in the seventh inning of Chicago’s 5-4 loss at Cleveland on Thursday. Manager Rick Renteria said the 23-year-old left fielder will need “to be off his feet” for a few days.

“There’s inflammation in there and they want to calm it down” Renteria said. “We’ll know more in a few days.”

The White Sox trailed the first-place Twins by a game heading into the series with the Cubs. They are just one ahead of the third-place Indians. The AL postseason begins on Tuesday.