Jump to content
  • Welcome to AngelsWin.com

    AngelsWin.com - THE Internet Home for Angels fans! Unraveling Angels Baseball ... One Thread at a Time.

    Register today to comment and join the most interactive online Angels community on the net!

    Once you're a member you'll see less advertisements. If you become a Premium member and you won't see any ads! 



OC Register: Ron Washington considering Anthony Rendon for Angels’ leadoff spot

Recommended Posts

TEMPE, Ariz. — With just over a week to go before Opening Day, Ron Washington still isn’t sure what he wants to do about the leadoff spot.

The uncertainty pushed the Angels manager to try Anthony Rendon batting first for Wednesday’s exhibition game.

“Just trying to find some things with the lineup,” Washington said. “I stayed status quo with the lineup throughout the spring and, to be honest with you, I wasn’t impressed with the top of it, the way it was working, so I wanted to try something else.”

Washington said he wanted to try Rendon because he knew he would have a quality at-bat, including seeing more pitches.

Rendon has a career .367 on-base percentage. Even in his mostly disappointing Angels career, Rendon has produced a .359 on-base percentage.

Washington had said earlier in the spring he liked Rendon hitting cleanup – despite his lack of power – because he knew how to drive in runs. Now, it seems he’s more interested in his ability to get on base and see pitches.

Rendon has hit leadoff 36 times in his career, none since 2015.

“Our leadoff hitters are not prototypical leadoff hitters,” Washington said. “I need someone up there that I think will make that pitcher earn his first four or five pitches, instead of the first one being put in play.”

Washington just last week expressed frustration that Luis Rengifo, another of his leadoff hitter choices, was making too many first-pitch outs.

The other candidates in the leadoff spot are outfielders Aaron Hicks and Mickey Moniak.

Hicks has a .524 on-base percentage this spring, with 10 walks in 42 plate appearances. He’s also hitting .375 with two homers, three doubles and a triple. Throughout Hicks’ career, his on-base percentage has been about 100 points higher than his batting average.

“If Rendon is not in there, it would most likely be Hicks,” Washington said. “But Hicks can swing the bat. Hicks has been in situations where he can drive in runs.”

There is still plenty of flexibility with the Angels lineup, even though Washington insists he’d prefer to have a stable group.

“I want to try to make sure that I can maximize my lineup,” Washington said. “When you actually look at it, we’re not going to be a team that is going to be able to just bang with people. We need people on base when our bangers do come up, so we can maximize. I tried to run the lineup out there the whole spring trying to see how it works. Right now I’m trying some stuff out.”

Shortstop Zach Neto hit leadoff at times in his rookie season, and he’s hitting .333 with a .370 on-base percentage this spring, but Washington said he still believes No. 9 is the best place for Neto.

“He’s hitting ninth because of his experience, or lack of,” Washington said. “I want him to settle in. I want him to have fun. I want him to believe what he’s doing and if that time comes that I have to push him somewhere else, I’ll do that when that time comes. And when that time comes, he would have shown me that it’s time.

“Right now his time is in the ninth hole. I want him to be successful. Not that he can’t handle the pressure of doing something else. But being in his first full year, I want him to relax and be successful. And I think he can down there because that’s what he wants to do. You never know. He might come to me and tell me ‘Hey, I can go lead off.’ And because he told me that I might do it. But right now, he’s right where he wants to be and he’s right where he needs to be.”

First baseman Nolan Schanuel also hit leadoff last season, posting a .402 on-base percentage. Washington said he prefers Schanuel to hit second because his bat-to-ball skills make him a good candidate for situational hitting.


Rengifo, who came out of Tuesday’s game with left hamstring tightness, said Wednesday that he was feeling “way better.” He also said this didn’t feel as bad as when he hurt his hamstring earlier in camp, costing him about two weeks.

“Hopefully it’ll only be a few days,” Washington said.

If Rengifo would be unable to start the season, the Angels would have room to keep two players out of the three vying for the final position player spot: infielders Livan Soto, Miguel Sanó and Ehire Adrianza.


Infielder Michael Stefanic, who hurt his quad early in camp, had a setback this week after trying to run the bases.

“It didn’t go very well,” Stefanic said Wednesday. “I felt it still.”

Stefanic said an MRI showed the strain to be “worse than we thought.” He’s now been shut down from baseball activity.


Schanuel (back) went through some drills, but Washington said he hadn’t yet heard how he did. …

The Angels have left-hander Patrick Sandoval scheduled to make his final spring appearance in a minor-league game Friday, instead of the big-league game. A minor-league game allows more leeway to control situations, ensuring that Sandoval can throw the number of pitches and innings he needs. Right-hander José Soriano, who had been scheduled to start a-minor league game on the off-day Thursday, is now scheduled to pitch Friday in the big-league exhibition. Sandoval is scheduled to start on Opening Day.

View the full article

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...