The Los Angeles Angels dealt with a myriad of injuries last season as Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon were among their key contributors to miss a significant amount of time.
Rendon appeared in only 47 games after hurting his wrist and subsequently undergoing surgery on June 20. It was believed to be season-ending at the time, but he managed to return for the team’s final two games of the season.
Rendon was relieved to make it back and gave him confidence heading into the offseason.
“I talked to Anthony quite a bit. As you know, he left the season last year very healthy,” Angels manager Phil Nevin said. “We got him back on the field those last couple of days without having any rehab starts, just doing stuff in practice leading up to that, which is not normal.”
“But there’s something for him, for his peace of mind to know that he was ready to go. And now he’s spending the winter just adding to his body strength, adding to what he can do. He’s never felt better. I think this year for Anthony’s mind more than anything was huge.
“For us, what I saw in him, when he had a surgery in May, he could have packed it in, gone home to Texas and done his rehab there. But he chose to stay with our group. And you guys knew where we were record-wise, but he chose to stay there and be part of the guys. He was a leader amongst that room. He helped a lot of the guys.
“I mentioned Joe earlier. Their bond became really strong. And I think he made a lot of guys around him better and emerged as that leader in that room, which was I think we needed and I think he’ll continue to do that. And he’s on the field every day. It makes it even better. And looking forward to having an Anthony for the entire season. Obviously, he’s a big part of this.
“We missed out on a lot of things those last two months and were still able to play right around power play .500 baseball. That was without Mike the entire time and Anthony the whole time. Jared Walsh wasn’t out there.
“Even veteran pieces we added to help when guys went down — Matt Duffy was hurt; Fletch was hurt — just knowing having all those guys back on top of what we’ve added now, it’s pretty exciting to think about what we can do.”
The Angels are hoping a healthy Rendon and their offseason additions can help them get back to the postseason for the first time since 2014. They also need to prove to Shohei Ohtani they can build a winning organization before he reaches free agency following the 2023 season.
Where does Anthony Rendon fit in with Angels for 2023 season?
Rendon is entering the fourth of a seven-year $245 million contract he signed prior to the 2020 season. He has appeared in just 156 of a possible 382 games to this point, but there is optimism he will be able to stay healthy next year.
Rendon is currently projected to bat cleanup in a new-look Angels lineup that includes offseason acquisitions Brandon Drury, Hunter Renfroe and Gio Urshela.
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