The Los Angeles Angels have been absolutely battered by injuries this season, and with just 20 games left in the season, the barrage hasn’t stopped. This time it’s Chris Rodriguez, who has already been out for quite some time but did not receive the best of news this week.
Rodriguez spent two months on the IL earlier this season due to shoulder inflammation. Then, when he returned, he was quickly demoted to the Minors. As the Angels grew desperate for starters, they decided to give him the call back up to give him a real shot.
He pitched 10.0 innings over two starts at the beginning of August, allowing a total of four earned runs on 10 hits and four walks, while striking out nine. However, he was sent back to the Minors between starts and wound up on the injured list with a right lat strain.
As he’s progressed through his rehab, it’s become clear that he will not be able to return this season, and was officially ruled out until 2022, via MLB.com:
Rodriguez was officially ruled out for the rest of the season on Sept. 11, as he didn’t suffer any setbacks but ran out of time to recover from his injury. He was placed on the 7-day injured list with a right lat strain while with Triple-A Salt Lake on Aug. 14. Rodriguez last pitched in the Majors on Aug. 10, when he threw four innings and allowed one run on four hits against the Blue Jays. He was used as both a starter and a reliever this year, posting a 3.64 ERA in 29 2/3 innings, and he is likely to be stretched out to start heading into Spring Training next season.
While being ruled out for the season is never good, there are two positives that come from that update. The first is that there were no setbacks in his recovery. He simply won’t have enough time to finish his rehab with only 20 games left in the season, which is much better than the alternative.
The second piece of good news is that the Angels reportedly plan to stretch him out as a starter going into next year. There is significant uncertainty — yet again — regarding the Angels starting rotation in 2022, but a healthy Rodriguez absolutely deserves to be a part of the picture.
For Rodriguez, talent has never been the question. He is a remarkable pitcher that has the potential to be a true starter. However, he has yet to prove that he can stay healthy for long periods of time, and he must do that if he wants a full-time spot in a Major League rotation.
Mike Trout unlikely to return this season
Although he hasn’t been officially shut down, each day comes with a greater likelihood that Mike Trout does not play again this season. He is yet to undergo a rehab assignment and the Angels have just 20 games left prior to Sunday.
While he is continuing to do what he needs to do to come back, the Angels may soon decide that a return is not worth it given how little time is remaining.