Angels decline to explain absences of as many as 10 players from training camp

Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Patrick Sandoval throws to the Los Angeles Dodgers during the first inning of a preseason baseball game Tuesday, March 26, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Patrick Sandoval (Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP)

Left-handed pitchers Patrick Sandoval and Jose Suarez and infielder Jared Walsh are among the approximately 10 players yet to join the Angels since training camp began late last week.

The Angels won't explain the reasons for their absences. Manager Joe Maddon declined to do so when asked on a video conference Tuesday.

They weren’t the only ones missing in action without a disclosed excuse. Starting pitcher Julio Teheran and infielder Matt Thaiss have not taken the field since full squad workouts began Friday.

Teheran was placed on the 10-day injured list, joining Suarez, infielder Luis Rengifo and pitcher Dillon Peters.

The Angels divulged last week that Peters sustained an oblique injury during the hiatus and would miss part of training camp. They did not make announcements about the status of the others missing.

It is unknown whether the players tested positive for COVID-19. Teams are not permitted to reveal such information without permission from players.

The absences could prove tricky for the Angels, for whom pitching has been a glaring weakness since general manager Billy Eppler’s tenure began in October 2015. Teheran was expected to take a spot in the middle of their six-man rotation. Sandoval and Suarez, who showed glimpses of promise as rookies last season, were competing for a spot on the back end of the rotation. For the time being, Maddon can count on only opening day starter Andrew Heaney, Dylan Bundy, Griffin Canning and two-way star Shohei Ohtani.

Matt Andriese, Felix Peña and Jaime Barria are left to battle for the final two spots if the Angels go with a six-man rotation.

Short hops

Outfielder Brian Goodwin slugged a hanging slider from opening day starter Andrew Heaney for a two-run home run. Heaney was sharp otherwise. “He had really good jump on his fastball,” Maddon said. “It’s something that’s easy to notice with him when you stand behind the cage…He’s got this real quick release when the ball gets out of his hand.” … Griffin Canning and Dylan Bundy will pitch in a six-inning instrasquad game Wednesday afternoon.