Andrew Heaney passes a test, hopes to start on Thursday – Orange County Register

HOUSTON — Andrew Heaney said he is ready to pitch.

The Angels left-hander threw off a mound for the first time since coming out of a game two weeks ago with what was diagnosed as shoulder inflammation. Heaney then said his plan is to take his next turn in the rotation, on Thursday in Chicago.

“Absolutely, I want to pitch,” Heaney said minutes after completing his session on Sunday.

Heaney said he threw 25-30 pitches at the normal intensity he would work for a between-starts bullpen session. He expects to repeat that workout on Tuesday. If that goes well, he would start on Thursday, he said.

Angels manager Mike Scioscia, speaking before Heaney threw, said only that it’s still possible for him to take that turn. Scioscia had said as recently as Friday that they didn’t have a plan for when Heaney would get on a mound, so Sunday’s workout was something of a pleasant surprise for the Angels.

Heaney said he has made significant progress this week.

“The last four or five days, it’s been feeling really good,” he said. “No residual affects or anything afterwards.”

Obviously, the Angels have a steep climb to get to the postseason, and it’s possible they could be mathematically eliminated before Thursday.

Heaney said he wants to pitch, regardless of the standings.

“If I didn’t think there was any value, I wouldn’t be working toward trying to do it,” he said. “Obviously, I think there’s some value in it for me, personally or for the team. I’m always going to assume every time I step on the mound I’m going to be the best I’ve ever been. Whether we’re in it or not, I want to go out and pitch.”

ABOUT THE ANTHEM

In the wake of Oakland A’s catcher Bruce Maxwell kneeling during the national anthem on Saturday, and numerous expressions throughout the NFL on Sunday, Scioscia said he would not have an issue if one of his players chose to make such a statement.

Scioscia said he planned to address the team before Sunday’s game to let them know the organization would support them. However, when the anthem was played, all of the Angels on the field were standing at attention.

“I think the national anthem has always been a time of just personal reflections,” Scioscia said. “Some guys say a prayer. Some guys are talking to their batterymate and and some guys are using it as a way to make some kind of statement. It’s a personal time. As an organization, we feel guys are free to use that personal time for whatever personal…

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