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OC Register: Anthony Rendon aims to rejoin Angels’ lineup before season ends


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CLEVELAND — Anthony Rendon took a step toward an improbable return to the Angels’ lineup on Monday.

Rendon took batting practice on the field for the first time since undergoing wrist surgery. Rendon has been fully participating in defensive drills too.

Although he was said to be out for the season after he had surgery in June, he is trying to come back for at least a few games.

“That’s always been the thing, to come back,” Rendon said on Monday. “That’s what I was pushing for the whole time. I’m going to push myself, push myself. I’m going to have them push me, push me. And if it works, we’re going to listen to my body. If it doesn’t feel good, we’ll pull it back. We’re just going to push as much as my body will take.”

If Rendon is now about to come back, it would be a benefit for two reasons.

First, he would be able to go into the winter without being concerned about the injury. Rendon had hip surgery last season and was not back to full strength until well into the winter.

“Trying to get that peace of mind,” Rendon said. “Last year sucked, obviously. To be able to play going into the winter, knowing that I was 100% healthy going into the winter. Then I can have a complete normal offseason.”

The second reason that Rendon and the Angels would like him to be activated is that he can serve the five-game suspension resulting from his part in the Angels’ brawl with the Seattle Mariners back in June.

It is likely that Rendon would have to be activated with more than five games left, so he could play after the suspension. That would prove to Major League Baseball officials that he wasn’t simply being activated to avoid serving the suspension next year.

STILL SWINGING RIGHTY

Andrew Velazquez has four hits, including a home run, in his first nine at-bats as a right-handed hitter against right-handed pitchers, increasing the chances that he abandons switch-hitting entirely.

Velazquez left the door cracked on Monday, saying “there’s still a chance I hit lefty,” but then Manager Phil Nevin said he’s seen enough to believe Velazquez should be all-in as a right-handed hitter.

“I like where it can take him,” Nevin said. “I really do. It’s something that he’s going to continue to work on and we’re just going to keep it on that side for now. It’s been beneficial to him.”

Velazquez has been a switch-hitter for his entire professional career. He’s produced a .536 OPS in the majors and a .740 OPS in the minors.

Both Velazquez’s defense and his speed will become even more valuable next season, because of rule changes to end defensive shifts and encourage more base-stealing. But the Angels need him to hit better.

Velazquez said he’s been having the pitching machine throw him sliders that break away from him to adjust to life as a right-hander facing right-handed pitchers.

“Just looking over there is a little different,” he said. “It’s not as drastic as I thought it was going to be. It’s not terrible. It’s a work in progress.”

OHTANI’S SCHEDULE

Shohei Ohtani, who came out of his last start because of a blister, will start on Saturday against the Mariners in Anaheim.

After that, the Angels have tentatively penciled him in to pitch three more times, on Sept. 23 at Minnesota, Sept. 29 at home against the Oakland A’s and in the season finale on Oct. 5 at Oakland.

Ohtani has pitched 141 innings, so he needs to throw another 21 innings in his last four games to finish the season qualified for the ERA leaders.

NOTES

Infielder David Fletcher (right hand contusion) said before Monday’s game he still felt pain when trying to grip a bat. He did some defensive drills, though. He is considered day to day. …

Right-hander Archie Bradley (fractured elbow) came through a bullpen session on Monday with no issues. He said he’s scheduled to pitch for Triple-A Salt Lake on Thursday and Sunday. Those outings would be one inning apiece. He would then throw more than one inning for Salt Lake on Sept. 21. Bradley could then be activated when the Angels are in Minnesota.

UP NEXT

Angels (LHP José Suarez, 6-6, 3.77) at Guardians (RHP Cody Morris, 0-1, 3.00), Tuesday, 3:10 p.m., Bally Sports West, 830 AM

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Preview of next year with Rendon? 

Ohtani should win at least three more starts. The two Oakland games and one other. Likely he also reaches the E.R.A. threshold. If he finishes with 15 or so wins and an E.R.A. in the 2.50s and meets the 162 inning threshold he ought to get Cy Young votes. Not enough to win, but relievers have win with far fewer innings. Top three I think for Cy Young.

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7 minutes ago, TempeAngel said:

I think he has a 5 game suspension he can take this year if he comes back.

Correct.  That's in the original post/article: "The second reason that Rendon and the Angels would like him to be activated is that he can serve the five-game suspension resulting from his part in the Angels’ brawl with the Seattle Mariners back in June."

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12 minutes ago, jsnpritchett said:

Correct.  That's in the original post/article: "The second reason that Rendon and the Angels would like him to be activated is that he can serve the five-game suspension resulting from his part in the Angels’ brawl with the Seattle Mariners back in June."

Got it. It's the first/only reason...

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9 hours ago, Second Base said:

If Rendon is healthy and can hit like he did in Washington, and if Trout and Ohtani are healthy, and if Fletcher and Rengifo are healthy, and if Walsh is healthy, and if the young guys mature.... Then we might be on a .500 team.

 

I'd say the chances of going 50/50 with these ifs is lower than Jo Adell's batting average. 

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11 hours ago, TempeAngel said:

Dude makes $238,000 per game.

These 2022 games are meaningless. Burn your suspension now, in 2022. He shuts it down if there is no suspension.

Let Rendon be in the opening day 2023 lineup.

Right? It's the only answer.

After talking to him, I stand by the way I wrote it. I think the main reason is that he wants the peace of mind that comes from playing and the secondary benefit is getting the suspension out of the way. 

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Uh... Why does it feel like Glass just ripped off Salt-n-Peppa...?

 

Rendon said on Monday. “That’s what I was pushing for the whole time. I’m going to push myself, push myself. I’m going to have them push me, push me. And if it works, we’re going to listen to my body. If it doesn’t feel good, we’ll pull it back. We’re just going to push as much as my body will take.”

 

Are we not working on phrasing anymore...?

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35 minutes ago, Deek said:

Uh... Why does it feel like Glass just ripped off Salt-n-Peppa...?

 

Rendon said on Monday. “That’s what I was pushing for the whole time. I’m going to push myself, push myself. I’m going to have them push me, push me. And if it works, we’re going to listen to my body. If it doesn’t feel good, we’ll pull it back. We’re just going to push as much as my body will take.”

 

Are we not working on phrasing anymore...?

Now I have “Passages of Time” stuck in my head, the favorite phrase of a certain VPOTUS.

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1 hour ago, Jeff Fletcher said:

After talking to him, I stand by the way I wrote it. I think the main reason is that he wants the peace of mind that comes from playing and the secondary benefit is getting the suspension out of the way. 

which is exactly what you'd want people (namely MLB Officials) to think if the main reason is to get the suspension out of the way...

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I’m glad to see him and he’ll look good in the lineup.  I think many players want to come back at the end of the season for their peace of mind and believe he would be doing the same without the suspension.  As long as he’s healthy, getting rid of the suspension is a good thing and he wouldn’t do it if he wasn’t.  

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On 9/13/2022 at 11:06 AM, Revad said:

As long as he’s healthy, getting rid of the suspension is a good thing and he wouldn’t do it if he wasn’t.  

He played with an injury for a couple weeks before this IL stint, what makes you think he wouldn't come back to eat a 5 game suspension before the end of the year if he wasn't healthy?

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On 9/12/2022 at 10:20 PM, Second Base said:

If Rendon is healthy and can hit like he did in Washington, and if Trout and Ohtani are healthy, and if Fletcher and Rengifo are healthy, and if Walsh is healthy, and if the young guys mature.... Then we might be on a .500 

If Walsh is healthy he will do the exact same thing next season as he did when he was healthy this season. That ship has sailed, and it needs a new port.

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1 hour ago, CaliAngel said:

He played with an injury for a couple weeks before this IL stint, what makes you think he wouldn't come back to eat a 5 game suspension before the end of the year if he wasn't healthy?

I don’t have hard data for that, but I imagine if it were me I’d be more concerned about my future health that the suspension.  Of course we saw Fletcher play injured yesterday and bunt because it hurt holding the bat to hit.

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3 hours ago, EDinTUSTIN said:

If Walsh is healthy he will do the exact same thing next season as he did when he was healthy this season. That ship has sailed, and it needs a new port.

Possibly the injury had something to do with his struggles from July on?

He hinted that it had been an issue for a while.

He did hit well (like Ward) from 2020 until May/June 2022.

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2 hours ago, Angel Oracle said:

Possibly the injury had something to do with his struggles from July on?

He hinted that it had been an issue for a while.

He did hit well (like Ward) from 2020 until May/June 2022.

Right, it is not that uncommon to see players try to "grind through" an injury, only to see them play poorly, then finally give up and go on the IL, when they should have just gone on the IL to begin with.

I don't think anyone really expected Ward to continue to hit like he did the first two months of the season, but I do think he is struggling with an injury that has led to his performance completely dropping off a cliff.  Same with Walsh, as we saw.

If Ward can recover a bit and become more of an 850ish OPS RF who puts up solid at-bats and draws his fair share of walks, he'll be a solid player on this team.  If Walsh can just return to his previous form from any of his recent years, the same applies to him too.

I do feel we have a number of solid options.  Health is an issue, but that is true for most teams.  What we are missing is serviceable depth.  Teams like the Dodgers seem to lose stud players, then promote some random player or cast-off who then plays incredibly well and fills that gap.  For us, when we lose Rendon, we end up promoting Rojas or signing Gosselin, who play incredibly poorly.  We need to find or develop decent backup options that can, at least, play slightly above replacement level, instead of being a total black hole.

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