Rendon has setback in hamstring rehab

July 17th, 2021

ANAHEIM -- Angels third baseman was expected to be activated from the 10-day injured list on Friday, but instead he will be out at least another two weeks because his left hamstring strain is healing slower than expected.

Rendon, who suffered the injury while running the bases on July 4, is on the IL for a third time this season, as he also missed 11 games in mid-April with a left groin strain and nine games in early May with a left knee bruise.

“It’s still seven to 10 day process, which is going to turn into two weeks, I'm sure," Angels manager Joe Maddon said. "If everything progresses properly, it sounds like the beginning of August. It just hasn't gotten better. They've done some tests and it's nothing awful, it's just how he feels and we just can't get through this. It just hasn’t progressed.”

Rendon, 31, acknowledged it's been a tough season, as he's batting .240/.329/.382 with six homers and 34 RBIs in 58 games. He's in the second season of a seven-year, $245 million deal signed before the 2020 season.

“It’s frustrating, to say the least,” Rendon said. "But I've learned a lot through this year. Obviously, not just physically, but mentally and how to handle these things even better."

Rendon, though, said that his injuries have contributed to his down season offensively.

“I just had no backside,” Rendon said. “I just haven’t been able to fire or be connected. Obviously, you battle with injuries, it doesn’t help, at all. Try to compensate with my right leg, my left leg, vice-versa. Just trying to find that comfortability. But not being able to use the weight room and having three non-contact injuries, and not being able to stay strong -- legs are a big reason why we hit.”

Rendon is now expected to be out longer than superstar center fielder Mike Trout and left fielder Justin Upton. Trout, out since May 17 with a right calf strain, has progressed to jogging on the field but will need to start running the bases at maximum effort before he starts his rehab assignment. And Upton, out since June 22 with a lower back strain, has been hitting on the field without any issues and the Angels are determining whether he’ll need a rehab assignment before being reinstated.

“I know from talking to the doctor, Trout is getting close to 100 percent,” Maddon said. “He's going to have go through some baseball activities and one of those is running the bases and hard. And then playing in games. So he's close and closer than Anthony is. And Upton had a really good BP yesterday. I can't give you the finish line but it doesn't seem far away."

Angels hire Waltz
Rich Waltz was hired as the Angels’ play-by-play announcer on Bally Sports West to replace Daron Sutton, who was dismissed on Sunday. Waltz will fill in for primary play-by-play announcer Matt Vasgersian and will be utilized in the same role that Sutton previously held.

Waltz, 58, was the play-by-play announcer for the Marlins from 2005-17. He also calls baseball for MLB Network and Turner Sports, as well as college football and basketball for CBS Sports. He originally interviewed for the job in the offseason before Sutton got the role. But after Sutton announced he had been fired on Sunday, Waltz was contacted on Monday about the job.

Sutton has stated that he was surprised by the move and that he was under the impression he’d get the chance to finish the season after signing a one-year deal. But the Angels went in a different direction at the end of the first half and Waltz’s first game was on Friday. He said before the game he had been already been following the Angels closely this season because of two-way star Shohei Ohtani.

Eaton to be primary right fielder
Adam Eaton, who was signed by the Angels on Thursday, started in right field and batted seventh against the Mariners on Friday. Maddon said he expects Eaton to play almost every day except against tough lefties. Eaton, 32, batted .201/.298/.344 with five homers and 28 RBIs in 58 games with the White Sox.

Rendon also vouched for Eaton, as the two were teammates on the Nationals from 2017-19, including winning the World Series in '19.

"I love Eaton," Rendon said. "He's just that kind of guy who plays the game the right way and he plays hard. I always describe him as the individual that you want on your team, but he's annoying to play against."

Angels tidbits
• Right-hander Griffin Canning was placed on the Minor League injured list with a lower back strain. He was optioned to Triple-A Salt Lake on July 3 and he made one start on July 8, allowing six earned runs over two innings. The Angels will need to find a sixth starter for July 27 against the Rockies, as an off-day on Wednesday allows them to stick to a five-man rotation for now.

• The Angels had scouts at veteran left-hander Cole Hamels’ workout in Texas on Friday. Hamels made just one appearance with the Braves in 2020, allowing three runs in 3 1/3 innings, but had a 3.81 ERA in 141 2/3 innings and 27 starts with the Cubs in 2019, when Maddon was the manager.