The Los Angeles Angels have been without Mike Trout, Anthony Rendon, and Justin Upton for quite some time now. For a team trying to establish contention in the American League playoff race, missing their best player, another one of their best players, and their most reliable left-fielder is not a winning formula.
They’ve managed well so far without all of these talented players in the lineup, largely thanks to Shohei Ohtani, David Fletcher, and Jared Walsh, who have all been magnificent in recent weeks. However, if they want to play the role of playoff spoiler and make a series bid, they’re going to need those players back.
Rendon was supposed to be just day-to-day after suffering some hamstring tightness on the Fourth of July. However, that quickly turned into a 10-day IL stint that was supposed to end after the All-Star break. Now, Joe Maddon announced that he suffered a setback that may keep him out until August.
Rendon spoke about his injury issues this season and what it’s done for him mentally and physically, according to Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com:
“It’s frustrating, to say the least,” Rendon said. “But I’ve learned a lot through this year. Obviously, not just physically, but mentally and how to handle these things even better.”
“I just had no backside,” Rendon said. “I just haven’t been able to fire or be connected. Obviously, you battle with injuries, it doesn’t help, at all. Try to compensate with my right leg, my left leg, vice-versa. Just trying to find that comfortability. But not being able to use the weight room and having three non-contact injuries, and not being able to stay strong — legs are a big reason why we hit.”
As for Trout and Upton, Maddon said that both are nearing 100%, but may both have to go through rehab assignments. Either way, they appear closer than Rendon to returning.
“I know from talking to the doctor, Trout is getting close to 100 percent,” Maddon said. “He’s going to have go through some baseball activities and one of those is running the bases and hard. And then playing in games. So he’s close and closer than Anthony is. And Upton had a really good BP yesterday. I can’t give you the finish line but it doesn’t seem far away.”
While there is less certainty now than there appeared to be just days ago, it still seems clear that Trout and Upton are close to a return. If those two can return in short order, they’ll still have time to put together a decent postseason push.
However, waiting on Rendon seems to be a growing theme this season, and it will continue until at least August.
Perry Minasian hoping to have top 10 pitching staff in second half of season
One of the main focuses for the Angels is obviously to get healthy. However, general manager Perry Minasian believes getting the pitching staff in order is the top priority. In fact, he said that the team’s goal for the second half of the season should be to get to the top 10 in all of baseball in major pitching stats.