After initial reports that Anthony Rendon would be out for the season due to a wrist injury, recent comments from the Los Angeles Angels have suggested that a 2022 return is possible. However, with only 13 games left — including Thursday’s outing against the Texas Rangers — time is running out.
Rendon’s hope to return in 2022 is two-fold. The first part is that he’d like to see some live pitching before entering the offseason, allowing him a full winter to focus on his game as opposed to being healthy. Even one game would be enough in that regard.
The second reason is the five-game suspension currently looming over his head from the brawl with the Seattle Mariners earlier this season. He was already on the Injured List at the time, meaning his suspension cannot be served until he’s activated.
And with just about two weeks remaining in the season, it appears less and less likely that Rendon would be healthy in time to serve that five-game suspension, according to Jeff Fletcher of The O.C. Register:
Third baseman Anthony Rendon (wrist surgery) continues to work out in hopes of getting activated and serving his five-game suspension before the end of the season. Rendon has taken batting practice on the field and faced velocity from a pitching machine, but he still hasn’t faced live pitching.
MLB rules prevent Rendon from being activated by the Angels with the sole purpose of serving the suspension. The Halos have to prove that Rendon is healthy enough to actually play games before he can face that punishment from his involvement in May’s brawl.
So — including Thursday — Rendon has 13 games to get healthy enough to play, serve the five-game suspension, and then return to the field. And he has to do so despite not having faced live pitching as of Wednesday, Sep. 21.
This would be a tall task for any player, let alone someone who has faced numerous major injuries over the past two years. Of course, it would be ideal if Rendon’s plan works to his liking, even if it means playing in just one game. But at this point in the calendar, each passing day increases the likelihood that the next time he makes it on to a diamond is in 2023.
Kurt Suzuki set to retire
Angels catcher Kurt Suzuki announced that he will be retiring after the 2022 season. The 16-year veteran spent his final two seasons in Anaheim, serving as a back-up to Max Stassi and a mentor to a number of younger catchers.
Angels interim manager Phil Nevin has promised that Suzuki will get a couple more starts this season as a send-off into retirement.