Heading into his fourth year with the Los Angeles Angels, Anthony Rendon, outside of the 2020 shortened year, hasn’t played more than 58 games in a season. With two injury-heavy seasons under his belt, the two-time Silver Slugger is preparing for a key 2023 campaign.
Unfortunately for the Angels’ third baseman, he’s been on the wrong end of some bad luck after being regarded as one of Major League Baseball’s most feared hitters during the Washington Nationals’ hot stretch leading up to their World Series season in 2019.
This past season he posted a .706 on-base plus slugging with five home runs, 24 RBI in 47 games. But he was hampered by an injury that required surgery to repair a subluxation of a tendon in his right wrist.
Rendon expressed his eagerness to return at the end of last year for two reasons, to clear a five-game suspension and get a feel for the game again. As position players began to report to Spring Training this season, the 10-year veteran noted the tone around this season’s preparation, via Sarah Valenzuela of the L.A. Times:
“I haven’t really played a lot of baseball the last handful of years, so to be out there is awkward,” the third baseman said Monday morning before the Angels’ first full-squad workout of camp.
“But that’s what spring training is for,” he continued. “You get out there every day, continue to put the work in and try to get ready for the season.”
Angels manager Phil Nevin understands that Rendon has dealt with a considerable amount of ailments, most notably his 2015 season which started with an MCL sprain in Spring Training, which was followed up by an oblique, and finally wrapping up the year with a quad injury. But he bounced back in 2016, posting a .797 OPS with 20 homers, 85 RBI and a 108 OPS+:
“I know where his mind’s at and it’s in a really good place,” Nevin said of the 2016 comeback player of the year. “He doesn’t have to prove anything. He wants to win.
“He’s been in this position before,” he continued, “and I know he’s pumped to get this thing started. He looks great.”
After general manager Perry Minasian did his best to provide the team with multiple options across the infield to provide days off for players if need be, Rendon and Jared Walsh, who’s also returning from injury, will be protected.
With Anthony Rendon & Jared Walsh back, Phil Nevin says Angels have clean bill of health ahead of 2023
Nevin took over after the Angels relieved Joe Maddon of his managerial duties amidst a franchise-record losing streak, however, no one can manage their way through an MLB season without a cast of regular players.
The Angels were busy this offseason adding valuable depth in the lineup, pitching staff, and bullpen. Minasian received the financial green light from ownership to push the payroll higher and in doing so, they were able to bolster the margins with Hunter Renfroe, Gio Urshela, Brandon Drury and Brett Phillips on the offensive end.
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