The Los Angeles Angels were once again bit by the injury bug as Anthony Rendon underwent season-ending surgery to repair his right wrist.
Rendon’s procedure will fix the subluxation of a tendon in his right wrist that requires a four to six-month rehab period. They expect him to be ready for 2023 Spring Training, but they will need to fill his void left at third base in the mean time.
General manager Perry Minasian could look outside of the organization for help, and even though right-fielder Taylor Ward broke into major league baseball as a corner infielder, he isn’t seen as a candidate for the job, via Jeff Fletcher of the O.C. Register:
“He’s one of the best right fielders in the game,” Nevin said. “He’s been moved around his entire career and you know, in an emergency, I know he can do things, but Taylor’s at leadoff and he’s going play right field and we feel really good about that. He’s bounced around a lot in his career, position-wise, and right now with the sense of comfort in right field, we would like to keep him there.”
Before sustaining a few injuries, Ward was performing like the best offensive player in baseball but has since slowed down from his torrid pace. But he is still an elite offensive player and moving him to the infield would then create another hole in the outfield for Angels manager Phil Nevin.
Ward said he’s open to moving positions if the team needs him to, but he believes the comfort in the outfield has been beneficial:
Ward said he hasn’t worked out at third in years. The few ground balls he took in the infield during spring training were at first.
“I feel like I help the team better in the outfield.” Ward said. “I feel I’m way better out there. I’m open to any discussion they have, but I love right field. I love the outfield.”
Nevin will need to replace a former all-star in Rendon, or at least try to make it work with production from multiple options. Unfortunately for the Angels, they’re already thin on depth with David Fletcher still recovering from injury and are without depth.
Potential trade option to replace Rendon
The Angels don’t have the depth internally to replace a former all-star, not many teams do, but thankfully there are a few names on the trade market who could be had for a relatively low price tag.
Brandon Drury of the Cincinnati Reds is having one of the best starts to a season in his career and is an impending free agent. In 57 games this season he carries a slash of .268/.332/.516 with a .366 wOBA and a career-high 130 wRC+.
The 29-year-old can play multiple positions on the infield and doesn’t seem like a long-term option with the Reds and could certainly be of use for the Angels if they decide to go the trade route.
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