Angels’ Justin Upton to rest tight quad through the All-Star break

first_imgHOUSTON — It seems that Justin Upton’s All-Star break has started early.Upton was not in the lineup for the third straight game on Saturday, and he said the plan is to give him Sunday off, too, which will allow him more than a week for his tight left quad to improve.Upton, who came out of Wednesday’s game with the injury, said he felt “good” on Saturday, but the team wouldn’t even let him try to run.“At this point they want to give me as much time as they can,” Upton said Saturday. “With the break right around the corner, they think if they err on the cautious side, when Friday comes around I won’t have any issues.” Upton missed the first two and a half months of the season with a sprained toe. Since returning, he hit .269 with three homers and an .806 OPS.“I felt great,” Upton said. “I was putting the ball in play and giving myself a chance. Obviously, it’s a round bat, round ball, so you can mis-hit some balls. For the most part, I feel like I’m making good swings.”LEADOFF SHUFFLETommy La Stella’s injury has left the Angels with a question mark in the leadoff spot.Manager Brad Ausmus indicated earlier in the week that he would likely have Kole Calhoun bat leadoff against righties and David Fletcher against lefties. However, on Saturday he put Fletcher at the top against a righty, with Calhoun in the cleanup spot.Ausmus normally wouldn’t want the left-handed hitting Calhoun to bat behind Shohei Ohtani, also a lefty, but the Houston Astros don’t currently have a lefty in their bullpen. He also put lefties Justin Bour and Jarrett Parker back-to-back. Angels offense breaks out to split doubleheader with Astros Jose Suarez’s rocky start sinks Angels in loss to Astros Angels’ Mike Trout working on his defense, thanks to Twitter The Angels leadoff spot could eventually go to Luís Rengifo, who profiles almost perfectly for that job. He’s a switch hitter with speed and he is disciplined at the plate.Lately, Rengifo has been particularly hot. He came into Saturday’s game hitting .328 with a .397 on-base percentage in his previous 18 games.Ausmus said Rengifo has improved lately, especially in his plate discipline, but he’d still like to keep him at the bottom of the order because of his inexperience. He was playing in his 51st big league game on Saturday.“He’s getting comfortable at the major league level,” Ausmus said.Related Articlescenter_img ALSOJC Ramírez will have at least one more rehab outing at Triple-A Salt Lake on Thursday, Ausmus said. Ramírez, who has nearly completed his rehab from Tommy John surgery, gave up three runs in six innings on Friday night, after allowing two runs in five innings in his previous start. Even if the Angels believed Ramírez was ready for the majors now, they could have him pitch again at Triple-A because the All-Star break pushes back the need for him in the majors…Keynan Middleton, who is also coming back from Tommy John surgery, was “good,” Ausmus said, in his the first game of his rehab, on Friday night. Middleton pitched in the Arizona League on Friday night, but he is likely to move up to Class-A Inland Empire next, Ausmus said.UP NEXTAngels (LHP José Suarez, 2-1, 5.40) at Astros (RHP José Urquidy, 0-0, 4.91), 11:10 a.m. PT, Fox Sports West Angels’ poor pitching spoils an Albert Pujols milestone Angels’ Shohei Ohtani spending downtime working in outfield Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Iowa lawmaker’s give ‘unequivocal’ pledge about government pensions

first_imgDES MOINES — The leader of a House committee is promising to block any attempt to adjust the pension benefits awarded through the Iowa Public Employees Retirement System — commonly called IPERS.Republican Representative Bobby Kaufman of Wilton is chairman of the House State Government Committee, the panel that would consider any IPERS policy changes.“There is very simply and unequivocally not going to be changes,” Kaufmann said Tuesday.A Republican state senator introduced a bill last year that would have enrolled future state and local government employees into something like the 401k systems available in the private sector. Kaufmann said if that idea is resurrected in the state senate, it will go nowhere in the Iowa House and groups that are saying otherwise are wrong.“All these groups that are pushing out this crap, after today what you are doing will be completely deceitful, so I want to make it crystal clear,” Kaufmann said. “Republicans never had intentions of taking away or substantively changing your IPERS and going forward over the next two years unequivocally there will be none.”Representative Mary Mascher, a Democrat from Iowa City, said because Republicans made dramatic changes to Iowa’s collective bargaining law in 2017, there’s a “lack of trust” when Republicans make pledges about public workers’ pensions.“I appreciate the fact that you’re very adamant about making no changes and I think that’s important,” Mascher said during Tuesday’s committee meeting, “but that message needs to be delivered to the senate, because they have been proposing legislation.”Kaufmann replied that no bill becomes law without coming through the Iowa House.“It is absolute that after today, any group that sends out the email scaring our constituents, I’m going to publicly call you a liar,” Kaufmann said.Progress Iowa is one of the group’s Kaufmann specifically cited Tuesday. The group’s executive director in a written statement said retirement security is “too important for us to stay silent” and his group “won’t be bullied by Bobby Kaufmann.”last_img read more