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Los Angeles Angels Geovany Soto may sit until after break

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May 1, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; Los Angeles Angels catcher Geovany Soto (18) celebrates with teammates after hitting a home run during the eighth inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
May 1, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; Los Angeles Angels catcher Geovany Soto (18) celebrates with teammates after hitting a home run during the eighth inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
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Los Angeles Angels catcher Geovany Soto has been out since May 18 with a torn meniscus, but his recovery time may have been temporarily halted.

The Los Angeles Angels originally expected veteran catcher Geovany Soto to return to the team on Tuesday, in the middle of their four-game set with the Tampa Bay Rays, but that’s no longer going to happen.

Soto, who has missed all but 20 games this season, was on track physically to return from the disabled list this week, but manager Mike Scioscia said he will not play in this series and may not return until the All-Star break ends in mid-July.

According to MLB.com’s Sam Blum, Soto experienced some stiffness in his legs following Minor League rehab assignments over the weekend, but Scioscia downplayed it as non-serious.

He said that it was possible Soto joins the team for their three-game series against the Baltimore Orioles starting on Friday, but they could also decide to just let him continue rehabbing until the break ends.

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Jun 27, 2016; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia looks on prior to the game against the Houston Astros at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

“It’s just peripheral stuff,” the manager told Blum on Monday. “You want to make sure you get that out so you don’t pull a quad or hamstring just by staying on some schedule. He’ll be fine.”

Soto, in his first year with the Angels, was enjoying a nice season at the plate before his injury. The 12-year-veteran was hitting .283 in 20 games with three home runs, seven RBI and five walks.

At the start of the year, it was expected that he would share time behind the plate with Carlos Perez, but now Perez has been taking on the majority of the workload with Jett Bandy making an occasional appearance here and there.

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Perez has played in 56 games this year, but has struggled at the plate. His average has fluctuated all year — the 25-year-old hit .148 in April, .255 in May, then .169 in June.

He had a .186 batting average before erupting for five hits in six at-bats against the Boston Red Sox in the team’s 21-2 romping over the weekend which brought his average up to .208 for the season.

He also has four long balls and 22 RBI.

Bandy was spending time with the Halos’ Triple-A club when Soto was injured and got the call to replace him.

Last season, he played in only two games with the Big League squad, but this year he has had the chance to settle in and made the most of it.

He’s hitting .259 with a pair of home runs and 10 RBI in 19 games.

The 26-year-old has flourished away from Angel Stadium, with seven hits in 19 at-bats (.368) and three doubles.

The Angels will have to make a decision when Soto returns to the club and either Perez or Bandy will be sent down.

Perez brings experience and an above-average game-calling ability to the table, but Bandy has been hitting the ball better and has shown improvement in his defensive abilities.

Next: Who should be an all-star?

The Angels first series after the All-Star break starts on July 15 at Angel Stadium against the Chicago White Sox.

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