The Angels announced a series of roster moves in advance of this evening’s game against the Rays. Star third baseman Anthony Rendon is headed back to the 10-day injured list with a left knee contusion. Reliever Mike Mayers has been reinstated from the COVID IL, while fellow right-hander Ben Rowen was designated for assignment. Outfielders Juan Lagares and Taylor Ward have been recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake, while righty James Hoyt was optioned.
This will be Rendon’s second trip to the IL this season. The 30-year-old missed about two weeks in April due to a left groin strain. After returning for seven games, Rendon is knocked out of action again, this time by a balky knee. On the plus side, the team says an MRI today revealed no issues (via Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times), so it seems there’s reason to hope Rendon can return in relatively short order.
While the pair of injuries has made for a frustrating start to the season for Rendon, he’s again been very productive when healthy. Over his first 66 plate appearances, the two-time Silver Slugger award winner has hit .276/.348/.466 with three homers. That’s not quite the star-level offense he put up from 2017-20, but it’s still well above average. During Rendon’s last IL stint, Los Angeles leaned mostly on José Rojas and Jack Mayfield at the hot corner. The latter has since been lost on waivers to the Mariners, but Rojas looks primed for another shot after struggling the first time.
Ward also has some experience at third base, although he worked exclusively in the outfield last season. The former catcher hit .214/.283/.351 from 2019-20. He’s now in line for his first MLB work this year. Infielder Phil Gosselin was also selected to the MLB roster this week and could be an option. Lagares, who can play anywhere in the outfield, is back after going hitless in seven plate appearances early in the season.
The Angels also shuffled up the bullpen. Mayers went on the COVID IL Monday but was always expected back quickly. His return will bump Rowen from the 40-man roster. The latter, who returned to the majors this season for the first time since 2016, pitched in eight games for the Halos. Over 11 1/3 innings, he was tagged for eight runs (seven earned) on 12 hits. He struck out only eight and issued a pair of walks.