Angels Injury Update: Justin Upton ‘Not Quite Ready,’ Anthony Rendon & Taylor Ward Likely Out Monday
Anthony Rendon, 2021 Season
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels have had some unfortunate injury luck throughout the 2021 season. There have been very few days of full health, but they have managed to hover .500 in spite of it. Currently, it’s Justin Upton on the mend from a low back strain. However, he’s no longer the only one facing a minor injury, as Anthony Rendon and Taylor Ward recently joined him.

Upton has not played since June 22 after leaving early in a loss to the San Francisco Giants. It was assumed that he would be able to return during the Angels’ weekend series against the Baltimore Orioles, but he remained on the IL. Not only that, Rendon and Ward each suffered minor injuries during their Fourth of July comeback win.

On the Upton front, Joe Maddon said that he simply was not ready despite initial optimism that he would be by now, according to Jeff Fletcher of The O.C. Register:

“He’s doing better,” Maddon said. “It’s still not quite ready. I thought it may have been ready by now. But it’s not. So we’re just gonna have to make sure that he gets all the proper work in before he gets out there. We need to get him out there, do some defensive work running a little bit, etc.”

Meanwhile, Rendon (left hamstring tightness) and Ward (jammed right index finger) likely won’t need time on the IL. Despite that, Maddon thinks that both will be held out of Monday’s lineup out of caution, according to MLB.com:

Rendon left Sunday’s game in the sixth inning with left hamstring tightness. He sustained the injury while running and then tweaked it again trying to field a slow roller. There’s a chance he could return on Monday, but Angels manager Joe Maddon said it’s more likely Rendon will be held out of the lineup.

Ward injured his right index finger and exited Sunday’s game in the bottom of the sixth inning. Ward injured himself diving back into first base on a pick-off throw in the fourth. He could return on Monday, but is likely to be held out.

Hopefully, all three can return at some point during the Angels series against the Boston Red Sox. They’ll need all the help they can possibly get against one of the American League’s best teams through the first half of the season.

Andrew Wantz impresses in MLB debut

RHP Andrew Wantz was called up to the big league roster in favor of Griffin Canning. Despite being a starter at the Triple-A level, the Angels wanted to see his work out of the bullpen. He showed exactly what he is capable of in his MLB debut against the Orioles.

Over 1.2 innings pitched, Wantz threw 23 pitches, allowing just one hit, zero walks, and zero earned runs while striking out two of the five outs he recorded.

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