The Angels placed infielder Luis Rengifo on the 15-day injured list earlier today with a bicep tendon rupture. As noted by The Athletic’s Sam Blum, Rengifo will not return in 2023 but figures to be ready for Spring Training in 2024, as Rengifo himself told reporters that he hopes to be fully recovered by the end of the calendar year. Right-hander Gerardo Reyes replaced Rengifo on the active roster.
It’s yet another in a long line of brutal injuries for the Angels this season, as virtually every key position player has spent significant time on the injured list except for Shohei Ohtani, who had his season on the mound end prematurely due to a UCL injury. While the Angels have been in a tailspin ever since the calendar flipped to August, Rengifo has been a rare bright spot for the club over the past few weeks. While the 26-year-old entered the month of July slashing a dismal .202/.292/.298 on the season, he’s been on fire ever since with a fantastic .327/.388/.592 slash line in 219 trips to the plate since the start of July. Over that 56-game stretch, Rengifo sports a strikeout rate of just 18.3% and 25 extra base hits including 12 home runs.
Rengifo’s torrid second half has lifted his season numbers up to a respectable .264/.339/.444 that’s 13% better than league average by measure of wRC+. While Rengifo has mostly played second base and shortstop in his career, he was used as something of a swiss-army knife by the Angels this year and received reps at third base and all three outfield spots in addition to his usual positions. While defensive metrics haven’t been kind to Rengifo this season, his breakout with the bat in recent months combined with his ability to play almost anywhere on the diamond makes him a huge asset for the Angels as they look ahead to the 2024 season. Rengifo, who made $2.3MM this year in his first trip through arbitration, is under club control for the next two seasons.
With Rengifo, Gio Urshela, Anthony Rendon, and Zack Neto all on the injured list, the Halos are currently relying on 21-year-old rookie Kyren Paris at shortstop while utilizing Brandon Drury, Eduardo Escobar, Mike Moustakas and 2023 first-round pick Nolan Schanuel to mix and match throughout the rest of the infield. The club’s position player group has been stretched particularly thin in recent days thanks to the absences of Ohtani and outfielder Mickey Moniak, both of whom have been considered day-to-day for several days at this point.
As for Reyes, the 30-year-old righty sports a 7.45 ERA and 6.36 FIP in 9 2/3 innings of work with Anaheim this year, with similarly rough figures at the Triple-A level. In 36 innings of work with the club’s Salt Lake City affiliate, Reyes has mustered a 6.25 ERA with an elevated 12.3% walk rate. Nonetheless, he’ll offer the club pitching depth as they finish out the remainder of the 2023 campaign.