ANAHEIM — Jared Walsh continues to take steps toward returning to action for the Angels.
The first baseman was on the field doing drills before Sunday’s game, and Manager Phil Nevin said they are preparing for the next step, which will be facing some live pitching.
“We are going to sit down after today or even early tomorrow and go over facing some live pitching,” Nevin said on Sunday. “This is the last week of some testing and some therapy stuff he’s got to do.”
Walsh has been undergoing treatment for what’s been officially called headaches and insomnia. Walsh, however, spoke to reporters about his symptoms this weekend, saying he had dealt with tremors and other motor issues.
Once Walsh sees live pitching — probably an Angels minor league pitcher brought to Anaheim to face him — he will begin a rehab assignment.
“The next step is when he sees the live pitching, how he responds to that,” Nevin said. “We’re confident he’s going to be pretty good with that. He’s got to ramp up and see how close he is to being game ready, which I think won’t take as long. He’s done a lot of stuff on the field.”
The Angels could use Walsh because he’s their second-best left-handed hitter, besides Shohei Ohtani, and their best defensive first baseman. They’ve had defensive issues with each of the other first basemen they’ve tried this season.
The Angels ranked sixth in the majors with a 3.67 ERA for their starters in 2022, including a dominant performance from Shohei Ohtani, along with solid years from left-handers Patrick Sandoval, José Suarez and Reid Detmers.
Although they brought back that group, and added All-Star left-hander Tyler Anderson and right-hander Griffin Canning, so far the results have been disappointing.
Angels starters went into Sunday’s game with a 4.57 ERA, which ranked 17th. They rank 18th in innings.
“We’re just looking for that consistency,” Nevin said. “The last time through the rotation we pitched pretty well, and then this time through it hasn’t gone as well. … We know it’s in there. It’s executing their pitches and being more consistent. Not wasting pitches is kind of what I’m seeing a little bit. That way we’re gonna get deeper into games and help our ‘pen out too.”
DAY OFF FOR NETO
Shortstop Zach Neto got the day off on Sunday, after having trouble throwing for a few days because of the finger injury he suffered on Wednesday in St. Louis.
Neto suffered a laceration to his right middle finger when he was trying to bunt. He demonstrated to Nevin on Thursday morning that he was able to throw accurately, but he nonetheless has had some issues since then, including one error.
Neto’s finger has been wrapped, and Nevin said it’s been tough to get a feel for the ball at certain times.
“It’s a cut, not anything structural,” Nevin said. “As soon as that subsides a little bit, I think he’ll be fine.”
Angels (LHP Patrick Sandoval, 3-1, 2.93) vs. Astros (RHP Hunter Brown, 3-1, 2.60), Monday, 6:38 p.m., Angel Stadium, Bally Sports West, 830 AM.