Angels star third baseman Anthony Rendon, who has been out since May 3 with a left knee contusion, is nearing a return to action, as he could be activated on Friday ahead of the club’s three-game series against the Red Sox at Fenway Park.
Rendon sustained the injury on a foul ball off his knee, but has seen improvement in recent days. He fielded grounders at third base and hit on the field on Monday and Tuesday at Minute Maid Park. He’s also been able to do some running drills, but his final hurdle will be proving he can run the bases and field his position without issues.
“He’s kind of really excited,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said. “It’s almost all systems go there.”
Rendon, who was batting .276/.348/.466 with three homers and 11 RBIs in 15 games, said he's been frustrated by his injuries this season. He also had a stint on the IL with a left groin strain suffered in cold and rainy conditions in Dunedin, Fla. on April 10. He returned to the lineup on April 26 and played seven games before sustaining his knee injury.
“It’s more frustrating when it’s something that’s not your fault,” Rendon said. "Like if I pulled a hamstring because I didn't take care of my body or I wasn't in the weight room or I wasn't stretching, that would be my fault. But the first time I had an IL stint, we started the game at 10 o'clock at night and it was wet and cold. We were just trying to stay warm and loose. That was frustrating. And then I smoked a ball off my knee.”
Rendon also said he believes he’s fortunate he didn’t suffer a more severe injury based on the way the ball directly hit his knee.
"Having my kneecap go almost fully around my knee didn't feel great," Rendon said. "I wasn't sure if it was dislocated or fractured. But thankfully, it was none of that."
Barreto to undergo Tommy John surgery
Infielder Franklin Barreto is set to undergo Tommy John surgery on his right elbow and is expected to miss 10-12 months, the club announced. Barreto sustained the injury during Spring Training and tried to rehab it, but ultimately decided to get the season-ending operation. It’s another setback for the former top prospect who was acquired in the trade that sent Tommy La Stella to the A’s last season. Barreto also underwent shoulder surgery after dislocating his left shoulder last September.
"He tried to work through things but it was just not responding," Maddon said. "So he went back for another evaluation and that was the determination. It's unfortunate. I thought the kid had a really good camp. He comes from such a great pedigree and we've heard so many wonderful things and we were just starting to see it."
Angels make roster moves
The Angels recalled reliever Jaime Barria from Triple-A Salt Lake and purchased the contract of reliever Noé Ramirez before Tuesday’s game. To make room on the roster, the club placed reliever Junior Guerra on the injured list with a right groin strain and optioned lefty José Suarez to Triple-A Salt Lake. Additionally, reliever Félix Peña cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Salt Lake.
Barria gives the Angels some length after Suarez gave up one run over four innings in relief in Monday’s 5-4 win. Guerra served as the opener in the game, allowing three runs over one-plus inning and Maddon said Guerra felt a little off but is hopeful he’ll return soon.
“I don't anticipate it to be much more than just a normal stay,” Maddon said. “When his command is a little bit off like it has been, there’s got to be a reason.”
Ramirez, meanwhile, rejoins the Angels after he was traded to the Reds for closer Raisel Iglesias in the offseason. He was signed as a Minor League free agent on March 30 after Cincinnati released him three days prior. He had been pitching at the club's alternate site and had a 3.00 ERA in 21 innings with the club last season.
“The reports were really good,” Maddon said. “He’s a great clubhouse guy. I love having him on the team. Last year, he never really got into a groove, but his stuff looks better this year already. He just fits in.”