The Los Angeles Angels have a roster that remains one of the more top-heavy teams in Major League Baseball, much having to do with their reliance on star power at the top of the batting order.
Mike Trout, Anthony Rendon, and Shohei Ohtani are names that, when clumped together, form a trio that stands up with the best in baseball. However, all of which dealt with season-altering injuries this past season, or in years past, ailments that took one or two out of the lineup.
With Ohtani scheduled to become a free agent, Trout and Rendon are still under contract together for at least a few more seasons. But since the 2021 season began, Rendon has missed 343 games with injury, with Trout missing 260 games in the same span.
One of the best abilities is availability, especially for elite talent. Rendon has made virtually no impact in his four years with the Angels, and general manager Perry Minasian understands the value of his stars is best utilized when on the field, per Jeff Fletcher of the Southern California News Group:
“There’s no secret here; we need Mike Trout and we need Anthony Rendon,” Minasian said. “We need those guys to play more. They know that. It’s something that we’ve talked about. They’re going to go in the offseason and they’re going to do everything they can in their power to be ready to go next year. They understand what they mean to this club, and how productive they can be on and off the field.”
Rendon turns 34 during the 2024 season, and his full no-trade clause and high salary is the only thing holding him back from being on the open market. Trout has dealt with odd injuries, but when healthy, he’s as good as it gets.
The Angels expect the pair to be their leading men when next season gets underway:
“We have to try,” Minasian said. “One of the biggest things, if you look at our season from a trajectory standpoint, is when we were healthy, we were a pretty competitive club. … We’ll take a deep dive into all the medical and ask ourselves why and what can we do to prevent that and go from there.”
Minasian required a plunge into the Angels Minor League system for Major League help, even calling up newly drafted first baseman Nolan Schanuel for a taste of the big leagues.
Their preference isn’t to have that be a reality, but their growing injured list roster put the team in a bind. If the Angels intend to get any plus-returns from their offense over the course of a full season, Minasian needs both Rendon and Trout to play a full slate.
Perry Minasian gives strong endorsement of Angels managerial job
With a relatively solid, youthful group of players in the Major League ranks, the next skipper has a lot to look forward to when considering the Angels. With Nevin being the 22nd manager in club history, they’ll be in search of their third since Mike Scioscia departed following the 2018 season.
Minasian believes the position is among the best in baseball, because of their crop of young talent currently in MLB.
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