The Angels announced last Wednesday that starting third basemen Anthony Rendon will get season-ending hip surgery. In Rendon’s second year with the Angels, Rendon has had an injury-plagued season that has impacted his performance in 2021.
Rendon is in the second year of his 7-year, 245-million-dollar contract. This season he has only played 58 games and has had nagging injuries the whole season. Including his hip injury that has cost him the rest of the season, Rendon has also been on the IL for groin and knee injuries.
Angels manager, Joe Maddon, was not sure how Rendon’s hamstring injury progressed to an issue with his hip. “It’s something I don’t understand how it goes from (hamstring) to hip, but it did and now we have to treat,” Maddon later said in an interview.
Rendon and the team hope that opting for surgery now gives him a better chance to make it back for the beginning of spring training in 2022 so that he can be back to the player he was when he was on the Nationals.
How This Affects the Angels
Rendon is one of the best third basemen in the game. At 31 years old Rendon is a nine-time all-star and one of the veteran leaders in the locker room along with Mike Trout and Shoei Ohtani. Rendon was one of the many stars that helped lead the Nationals to their first World Series Championship in 2019.
In his last year with the Nationals Rendon led the league with 126 RBIs and batted .319. Rendon in the lineup makes the Angels exponentially better. In 52 games last season Rendon hit .286 with nine home runs and 31 RBIs.
David Fletcher is now replacing Rendon at third base. This season he is batting .308, which ranks ninth in the MLB, with two home runs and 38 RBIs. Fletcher’s batting average is comparable to Rendon’s however he does not have the RBI production that Rendon has. Fletcher will have more opportunities to start now with Rendon out, giving him the chance to score more runs for the Angels.
With Trout also being on the IL it affects the offense even. Trout has been out since May 18th, so we have not been able to see Trout and Rendon in a full season yet to see the true offense of production these two can have during a full season.
This year Rendon production has been extremely low batting .240 with six home runs and 34 RBIs. So with Fletcher taking his place, offensively it makes the Angels better.
The Angels Playoff Push
Without Rendon’s star power in the lineup, it makes it significantly harder for the team to have outstanding run production to help the struggling pitching staff. This will make it harder to make a push for a playoff berth this season. Right now the Angels sit ten games out of first place in the AL West and 7.5 games out of the second wild-card spot. They are not completely out of making the playoffs but they would need to get on a hot streak soon.
The schedule they have over the next few weeks does not give them any favors. After losing two out of three to After the Dodgers they have to play playoffs teams including the Blue Jays, Astros, and then they go to the Tigers and Indians.
The Blue Jays and Astros series will give them a true test for the offense. Players like Shoei Ohtani and Jose Iglesias, and Fletcher will have to step up even more to replace the missing offense production.
The Angels will really have to win the majority of the series they play to have a shot at the second wildcard spot. They have won four straight games, and they are 6-4 in their last ten games. With Trout coming back at some point this season it gives them a realistic chance of making the playoffs this season.
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