Angels ‘move on’ from Aaron Hicks after veteran’s slow start

ANAHEIM —  Monday marked a milestone of sorts in the Angels’ season.

For the first time this season, the Angels made a roster move that reflected performance, rather than being forced by an injury.

The Angels designated Aaron Hicks for assignment, replacing the veteran outfielder him with utility man Cole Tucker. Hicks was 8 for 57 (.140) and had not played much since Jo Adell took over as the everyday right fielder.

“We just thought we needed to start making some changes,” Manager Ron Washington said. “I love Aaron Hicks and appreciate what he did for the time he was here, but the only thing I can say about that is it was time to move on.”

Washington also suggested that the other players should understand that poor performances won’t be tolerated.

“We’re not trying to give a message to anyone that if you don’t do this, and if you don’t do that, you won’t be here,” Washington said. “But if they don’t do this, and they don’t do that, then they won’t be here.”

Tucker, 27, is back in the majors, after spending parts of the previous four years in the big leagues with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Colorado Rockies. He was with the Seattle Mariners in spring training, but he asked for his release when they said they didn’t have a spot for him.

Tucker said the Mariners first asked him if he’d be interested in coaching.

“A little premature, but really flattered by it,” Tucker said. “I feel like there’s more for me as a player.”

Tucker was at home for a couple of weeks waiting for a job, and then he signed a minor-league deal with the Angels. He began playing at Triple-A Salt Lake on April 16. He was hitting .313 with a .908 OPS with Salt Lake.

Tucker is a switch hitter who can play every position on the field besides catcher.

Washington said the Angels could use Tucker’s “versatility,” especially while they are playing without infielder Miguel Sanó.

Sanó is out with a sore left knee. He was able to take batting practice on Monday, but Washington said he’s not ready to “push him out there right now.” Sanó is available to pinch-hit, Washington said.


When Zach Neto got hot last week, Washington moved him from the No. 9 spot to the No. 2 spot. Neto then went hitless in eight at-bats, so Washington put him back at the bottom of the lineup, instead moving Jo Adell up to No. 2.

Washington said Neto seemed to be “trying to do too much” after he was moved up, so Washington implored Adell not to do the same.

“I’m hoping that by moving him up to second, that he doesn’t change anything in the way he’s swinging the bat,” Washington said.

Adell was hitting .327 with a .974 OPS heading into Monday’s game.

“I’m searching for how I can put something together where we can score some runs,” Washington said. “It might backfire, but I gotta try something.”


The Angels optioned right-hander Zac Kristofak and recalled right-hander Davis Daniel to provide more coverage for the bullpen. Kristofak pitched two innings in his major league debut on Sunday. …

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Right-hander Chase Silseth (elbow inflammation) played catch for the third time in the last four days. …

Right-hander Guillo Zuñiga (pectoral strain) has increased his long toss out to 105 feet. …

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Phillies (RHP Spence Turnbull, 2-0, 1.33 ERA) at Angels (LHP Tyler Anderson, 2-3, 1.78 ERA), Tuesday, 6:38 p.m., Bally Sports West, 830 AM

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