The 2021 season has been the stuff of nightmares for Los Angeles Angels third baseman Anthony Rendon. By the time the All-Star Break rolls around, the Angels will have played 89 games. Meanwhile, Rendon has played just 58 and won’t step on the field again until after the break because of his third stint on the 10-day injured list.
The first time, he missed 16 days with a groin strain after trying to make a difficult throw from third base to first base. Then, just a week later, he missed 11 more days after taking a foul ball off his knee. Now, he’s going to miss another 10 at least after straining his hamstring on a dive for the ball.
Angels manager Joe Maddon discussed his conversations with Rendon and the frustration that’s coming with not being able to stay healthy, according to J.P. Hoornstra of The O.C. Register:
“He’s very – he is frustrated by the whole thing,” Maddon said. “We just want to get him well and out there playing without anything bothering him. We both know that when that occurs, good things are going to happen for us and for him. It’s just unfortunate. It’s serendipitous.
“We just have to wait until he’s well. Once he’s well there’s a lot of good baseball coming our way. You’ve just got to be patient sometimes.”
Because of the minor injuries causing him to miss chucks of time, he hasn’t had any chance to get into a rhythm, leading to below-average production on the field. For the season, he’s slashing .240/.329/.382, well below Rendon’s standards as a player who finished third in NL MVP voting just two years ago.
In fact, the 16 games before his current hamstring injury were his best of the season. From May 14 to July 4, he managed to stay relatively healthy, missing spot games for rest or soreness here and there. By the last 16 games of that stretch, he was slashing .259/.380/.500, much closer to his normal production.
Hopefully, the All-Star break can serve as a reset for Rendon, and he can come back ready to perform at a high level in the second half of the season. He’ll also get the help of Mike Trout back, who is slated to return shortly into the second half of the season.
Trout taking on-field swings
A positive injury sign that the Angels desperately need came on Monday when Mike Trout took part in an on-field batting practice session. His stint on the 60-day IL can end on July 17, and the Angels are hoping to activate him as soon as they can after that.