SEATTLE — A tough spell for the Angels was made even more difficult on Friday when the club announced third baseman Anthony Rendon will undergo season-ending surgery early next week to repair his right wrist.
It’s another blow for the Angels, who have struggled to get runs for the last month, and another season-ending injury for Rendon, who ended his 2021 season in early July with a right hip injury that ultimately required surgery in August experienced. Rendon’s loss weakens the line-up significantly as he is one of the club’s key stars alongside Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout. That was demonstrated in Friday’s 8-1 loss to the Mariners, as the Angels took two outs to score in the seventh inning and fell to 3-19 in their last 22 games. They were also the first team to break up a no-hit bid in the seventh inning or later since the Astros in April 1984, according to STATS by Stats.
“We knew [surgery] was always an option but we tried to figure out how to get through each day but it got to the point where it didn’t get any better,” said Rendon. “Yesterday was the last straw. I’ve been trying to go through a new routine to see if I can play. And we tried to do a few things during the game, but it just didn’t happen.”
Rendon had been dealing with the wrist injury since May 8 and was on the injured list from May 17 to June 10 with what is known as a right wrist sore. He played in four games following his IL stint before exiting Tuesday’s game against the Dodgers uncomfortably.
Head coach Mike Frostad explained on Friday that Rendon has an unstable tendon in his right wrist that may require surgery. It got to the point where Rendon couldn’t play through anymore, so he decided to have the surgery now so he could have a normal off-season next year. His recovery time is four to six months.
“It just catches fire and he tried to play through it, but unfortunately it just got too much for him to play through every day,” Frostad said. “He did his best and I applaud him for trying to get through it. We expected this to be the result but he was just trying to get through the year and he just wasn’t making it.”
Rendon has been considered by the day after being left out of the lineup against the Mariners on Wednesday and Thursday. Ultimately, however, it was determined that this injury could not simply be played through and would require surgery to repair. How Rendon sustained the injury is still unclear.
Rendon, 32, finishes the season with .228/.324/.383 with five home runs and 24 RBIs in 45 games. His final line is similar to his performance from last year when he batted .240/.329/.382 in 58 games with six homers and 34 RBIs. He’s played in 155 games with the Angels over the past three years, hitting .252/.359/.421 with 20 homers, 34 doubles and 89 RBIs.
Rendon signed a seven-year, $245 million contract before the start of the 2020 season, but wasn’t as healthy or produced as he was at the Nationals until 2019, when he was considered one of the best third basemen in baseball. He was also a key figure in helping Washington win the World Series that year by hitting .586 in the seven games of the 2019 Fall Classic. Rendon has four years and $154 million left on the contract.
“I love playing out there,” Rendon said. “I think one of the main reasons I tried to assert myself was that we have a great group of guys here. I didn’t want to do this two years in a row. Last year we were out and didn’t get a chance but this year I loved fighting with these guys every day.”
With Rendon out, the Angels are expected to field a combination of Matt Duffy, Jack Mayfield, Luis Rengifo and Tyler Wade at third base. Mayfield was called up by Triple-A Salt Lake and started there on Friday. David Fletcher is out after hip surgery but could return in early July and has experience at the position, while third baseman David MacKinnon is having a strong year at Triple-A Salt Lake. Fellow infielder Michael Stefanic could also be an option later, but he is currently on the minor league casualty list with an undisclosed injury.
“We have a few different options,” said interim manager Phil Nevin. “We certainly have guys who can go over there and play well defensively. But if you take Anthony Rendon out of the lineup, the way he works pitchers and takes bats, just that name on the lineup, it’s different. i won’t lie to you But where he is, he just couldn’t go, so we’ll piece it together every day.