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Hip injury sends Angels’ David Fletcher to the injured list

ANAHEIM — The Angels will be without their starting shortstop for at least the next 10 days after placing David Fletcher on the injured list prior to Tuesday’s game against the Miami Marlins.

A left hip strain that had been nagging Fletcher since spring training “never really went away,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said.

“He’s going to want to play,” Maddon said. “We appreciate that about him. He’s tough.”

Andrew Velazquez, who was in the running to play second base until the end of spring training, was recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake to take Fletcher’s place on the active roster.

Velazquez, 27, is a veteran of 96 games over the past four seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays, Cleveland Guardians, Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees, batting .184 with one home run. He has seen time at six defensive positions in his major league career.

Velazquez batted .250 in 11 Cactus League games with the Angels and made appearances at second base, third base, shortstop and center field.  He was optioned to Triple-A Salt Lake on March 30 and batted 5 for 16 (.313) in five games with one home run and six RBIs.

Fletcher had one hit, a triple, in 13 plate appearances to begin the regular season. Other than him, only Tyler Wade had seen time at shortstop in the season’s first five games, including the final two innings of Monday’s game after Fletcher was removed because of the injury.

Velazquez is batting ninth and starting at shortstop Tuesday against the Marlins.

Center fielder Mike Trout, who was ill Monday, returned to the Angels’ lineup as the number-2 batter.

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