Rasmus having surgery for ‘core injury,’ out 6-8 weeks …

Cory Rasmus, an ideal candidate to crack the Angels’ bullpen out of Spring Training, has a core injury that will require surgery and will put him out six to eight weeks.

The Angels didn’t go into specifics about what the injury was, exactly. Mike Scioscia said Rasmus was been dealing with it on and off for the last couple of years, “But it just got to a point where it was affecting what he needed to do.” Rasmus will have the surgery Tuesday in Tempe, Ariz. He can activate his arm in the next three to four weeks, “But certainly nothing aggressive for six weeks,” Scioscia said.

Rasmus, acquired from the Braves for Scott Downs in July 2013, posted a 2.57 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP in 30 appearances for the Angels last year, striking out 9.2 batters per nine innings. The 27-year-old right-hander was critical in September, providing multiple innings on bullpen games whenever Garrett Richards‘ turn came up.

Two bullpen spots are open, though Vinnie Pestano looks like an ideal candidate for one of them. The only other relievers left in camp are Matt Lindstrom, Ryan Mattheus, Cam Bedrosian and Scott Snodgress. Scioscia mentioned starters Drew Rucinski and Jose Alvarez as candidates to provide length out of the bullpen, which would keep Cesar Ramos in the role of a quasi-lefty specialist.

“It definitely opens up a void,” Scioscia said of Rasmus’ injury. “Cory was a guy that we felt pitched in a variety of roles for us last year, and I think he gained a lot of confidence from just getting those starts at the end of the season. We have some good arms. I think the depth is there. Obviously it’ll take one guy out of the picture in the short term.”

Some additional notes from the Angels …

  • Johnny Giavotella, a strong candidate to be the Angels’ second baseman, underwent precautionary X-rays on his left thumb on Saturday morning after banging it on third base while sliding in for a triple on Friday night. Giavotella told the Angels he felt good enough to play on Saturday.
  • Josh Rutledge hasn’t played since Tuesday a tight hamstring, but he’s expected to return to the lineup on Sunday.


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