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Prospect Jimenez shut down with labrum issue

Prospect Jimenez shut down with labrum issue

Prospect Jimenez shut down with labrum issue

CLEVELAND -- Angels third base prospect Luis Jimenez is not expected to return this season because of an ongoing labrum issue, general manager Jerry Dipoto said Saturday.

Jimenez, ranked 12th in the Angels' system by MLB.com, will not have surgery and will instead look to build back strength in his right shoulder through a conservative rehab program.

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The 25-year-old right-handed hitter, who posted a .232/.264/.275 slash line in a 24-game stint with the Angels earlier this year, hurt the shoulder on a slide in Triple-A on June 15 and was on the shelf for nearly two months. Jimenez then played a couple games in Rookie ball Thursday and Friday, but hadn't progressed far enough and was essentially shut down.

The Angels now have some serious questions at third base for next season, and not just because of Jimenez.

Kaleb Cowart, the Angels' top prospect, has struggled in his first season in Double-A, batting .214 with only five homers in 112 games. Alberto Callaspo was traded to the Athletics. And the player the Angels got back, the versatile Grant Green, still has a ways to go defensively at third base -- a position he's played in only 15 of his 481 Minor League games.

With Howie Kendrick on the disabled list, Green is expected to play second base every day for at least a couple of weeks. And for the time being, Chris Nelson, who cleared waivers in mid-June, will be the everyday third baseman.

"I think Chris Nelson has done a heck of a job," Dipoto said. "Yes, Kaleb did not have the year to date that he was expecting, but I still think Kaleb is a heck of a prospect. Sometimes guys have this type of year. We'll get through the winter and look at all the different possibilities that we have internally, but we're not expecting [Jimenez] to be out a long time. If you count Chris Nelson, [Jimenez], Kaleb Cowart and potentially Grant Green, it's not a bad mix."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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