The Los Angeles Angels have been without their star third baseman Anthony Rendon for a majority of the 2021 season. First, a groin strain put him on the 10-day Injured List because of a weather delayed start. Then, after returning briefly, he was again knocked out of play, this time due to a foul ball that hit his knee.
All in all, Rendon has played in just 15 of the Angels 35 games through the first month and a half of the season. In that time, he’s slashing .276/.348/.466, which is not great for his standards. However, it’s hard to blame him for not finding a rhythm when he’s been constantly in and out of the lineup.
Now, Angels manager Joe Maddon hinted that Rendon may be nearing his return, according to Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com:
“He’s kind of really excited,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said. “It’s almost all systems go there.”
Rendon spoke about the frustration he was feeling given that his injuries have been rather fluky this season.
“It’s more frustrating when it’s something that’s not your fault,” Rendon said. “Like if I pulled a hamstring because I didn’t take care of my body or I wasn’t in the weight room or I wasn’t stretching, that would be my fault. But the first time I had an IL stint, we started the game at 10 o’clock at night and it was wet and cold. We were just trying to stay warm and loose. That was frustrating. And then I smoked a ball off my knee.”
While the Angels third baseman has been rather unlucky in terms of staying on the field, he is fortunate that his most recent injury was not much worse. Hitting a foul ball directly off of his kneecap could have resulted in a break or fracture, but instead it was just a contusion.
If Rendon can come back and stay healthy, it adds another layer to an already dangerous Angels offensive attack. He’ll likely slip right back into his No. 4 spot in the lineup, moving the red-hot Jared Walsh to fifth, Justin Upton to sixth, and so on.
It also likely means the end of the road for Phil Gosselin’s time with the big league roster, as Jose Rojas has begun to put things together at the plate.
Jared Walsh praised for spectacular showing
In the Angels comeback win over the Houston Astros on Monday, Jared Walsh reached base safely in all five of his plate appearances, going 4-for-4 with a walk, two singles, a double, and a home run. He was praised by both Maddon and Astros manager Dusty Baker.