Aguilar Getting Closer

TAMPA, FL - Shortstop prospect Angel Aguilar was supposed to be in camp vying for a potential spot with one of the long-season league teams this Spring Training but a minor injury has set him back temporarily. He says he is getting real close to returning soon, however.

"I have a [minor] lower back injury," Aguilar said through the help of a translator. "It's been lingering. It was mainly caused by lifting weights in the weight room. My vertabrate was swelling up a little bit and hitting a nerve, that's what was causing the pain."

He says he initially tweaked his back while playing in the winter leagues in Venezuela this offseason and the pain was nagging him once he reported to minor league camp. Wisely choosing not to further exacerbate the problem, he immediately brought it to the training staff's attention and he's been rehabbing the injury ever since.

He not only hasn't played in any Spring Training games yet, he hasn't even been able to participate in actual batting practice to date and at first it was quite frustrating considering the expectations he had for himself entering the 2015 campaign.

"Obviously I felt a little down because I wanted to come into [camp] and fight for a position on a team but it happened. It's a good thing it happened early though and not during the season so I could take care of it right now. From something negative something positive always comes out of it."

He's been inching his way closer to a full return as of late, resuming baseball activities this week.

"Thank God, with all of the therapy that I've been doing and all of the work that I've been putting into the rehab I'm probably 90-95 percent right now. I'm feeling better.

"The last four days I've been in the field taking ground balls, letting my arm get loose, making throws from 90 feet, and taking cuts from the tee and in the cage."

He still hasn't taken any batting practice yet but he says that next step isn't too far down the road.

"I think next week I'll be full practice in the field. It might this coming Sunday or Monday, I'm not really sure, but in a week I'll be able to be in the field and taking batting practice."

Considering the end of next week will be the end of Spring Training, however, it is more than clear that he won't be getting into any actual Spring Training games in this year's camp.

"Nothing for Spring Training, they're just going to hold me off until Extended [Spring Training] and then we'll see where we go from there," he revealed.

Obviously a little disappointed with how things have transpired thus far, the fact is Aguilar was most likely destined for Extended Spring Training anyway so the whole ordeal is being viewed by Aguilar and the organization as more of a minor nuisance than any serious long-term problem.

Considering his resumption of baseball activities and getting closer to returning to game action he can't help but be a little excited that there is an end coming to his precautionary measures.

"The work we're putting in is to strengthen the muscle and so we don't have this happen again. I'm 200 percent excited to get back out there again," he concluded.

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