The Angels announced that infielder Anthony Rendon has been placed on the 10-day injured list due to a left wrist contusion. A corresponding move wasn’t announced and may not come until tomorrow since the club is off today. The move is presumably backdated to Friday June 16 since Rendon last played on Thursday.
Rendon was hit on the wrist with a pitch in Thursday’s contest and then sat out the weekend. The club was hoping that a few days off could get him back into game shape but it seems that hasn’t come to pass and they will now give him another week off to fully recuperate.
While this injury was a fluke that Rendon had little control over, it nonetheless continues a frustrating pattern in recent years as he’s yet to play 60 games in a season since signing a seven-year, $245MM deal with the Angels after 2019. The contract began with the pandemic-shortened 2020 season but Rendon has made multiple IL trips in each campaign since, as this will be his second stint on the shelf this year. He got into just 58 games in 2021 while dealing with a groin strain, knee contusion, hamstring strain and hip impingement. Last year, it was just 47 contests with his right wrist the primary culprit. This year, he’s been limited to 38 games so far due to a groin strain and now this wrist contusion.
Those injuries have coincided with a drop in his production. He hit .286/.418/.497 in the first year of the deal for a wRC+ of 152 but he’s slashed just .238/.338/.364 since then for a wRC+ of 98. Despite that diminished performance, his absence will be a challenge for the Halos as they also have infielders Zach Neto and Gio Urshela on the injured list.
The past two games have seen the club use an infield alignment of Luis Rengifo, Andrew Velazquez, Michael Stefanic and Brandon Drury from left to right. Jared Walsh is also an option to play first base as Drury moves over to one of the other spots. That’s a less than ideal situation as Drury is the only player in that group with much offensive success in recent seasons. Rengifo was decent in 2022 but is hitting just .203/.288/.291 this year. Walsh has some past success but has declined in recent years while battling injuries, currently batting .125/.253/.234 here in 2023. Velazquez has a career line of .193/.244/.295 while Stefanic has just 27 games of experience.
With Rendon now set to miss more time, the club can bring someone else into that mix. Jake Lamb and Liván Soto are options on the 40-man roster while non-roster options include David Fletcher. Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register adds that outfielder Hunter Renfroe has been getting some work at first base lately and could be an option there, which opens the possibility of recalling another outfielder like Jo Adell.
Despite the challenges they are facing with their multiple infield injuries, the Angels are playing well, winning seven of their last 10 games and currently in possession of an American League Wild Card spot.