Rendon, 32, played 45 games this season before he underwent wrist surgery in June. At the time, that procedure was categorized as “season-ending,” though Rendon evidently recovered faster than expected. A few weeks ago, it was reported that coming back for a late-season appearance was on the table, something that has now come to fruition.
Despite his reinstatement, Rendon still won’t be appearing in a game for the Halos for a few days. Shortly after his surgery, there was a massive brawl between the Angels and Mariners which resulted in 12 suspensions. One of those was given to Rendon, who got five games for his role in the fracas. He’ll miss the next five contests with the Angels playing shorthanded on those days. That will still leave him with the chance to get a small taste of action before the offseason begins, as the club has eight games remaining here in 2022, and prevent him from missing the beginning of the 2023 season.
The Angels are well out of contention here in 2022, so those games next season should be much more important to the team. Next year is the last season before Shohei Ohtani is slated to reach free agency. With the club also potentially being sold in the near future, it’s possible that 2023 is an inflection point for the franchise. Despite having Mike Trout for the past decade-plus, Ohtani for the past five seasons and Rendon for the past three, the Angels haven’t finished above .500 since 2015 and haven’t made the postseason since 2014. With Ohtani’s potential departure and an unknown ownership group entering the picture, it’s possible that 2023 might have a “last hurrah” sort of feel to it, given the uncertainty beyond that.
Rendon was excellent for the Angels in the first year of his contract, which was the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. He hit .286/.418/.497 in 52 games that year for a wRC+ of 152 and 2.5 fWAR. Unfortunately, the past couple of seasons have been marred by injuries, with Rendon only getting into 58 games last year and only 45 so far here in 2022. He and the club will surely be hoping for better health next year and beyond, with his contract running through 2026.
As for Ford, he began his career with the Yankees and spent many years in their system before entering a journeyman phase over the past two years. Starting in June of 2021, he went from New York to Tampa, then Washington, Seattle, San Francisco, back to Seattle, Atlanta and then to Los Angeles to join the Angels. For four different teams this year, he’s hit .206/.302/.313 for a wRC+ of 80. Ford has a much better track record at Triple-A, hitting .257/.353/.476 in over 1300 plate appearances. He’s struggled to bring that up to the majors with him but might find another team willing to give him a shot. With the trade deadline long gone, the Angels will have no choice but to put Ford on waivers in the coming days.