Angels third baseman Anthony Rendon will undergo surgery on his right wrist next week, the team announced. The procedure will sideline Rendon for the remainder of the 2022 season.
Rendon spent two weeks on the injured list due to soreness in that same wrist earlier this season, and he has missed the last couple of games after re-aggravating the problem. Angels manager Phil Nevin intimated that Rendon was a pinch-hitting possibility as recently as Thursday, so Friday’s news comes as an unwelcome surprise, and an indication that further testing revealed a more severe problem with Rendon’s wrist.
This will mark the second straight season cut short by surgery for Rendon, as he underwent a hip procedure last August that prematurely ended his 2021 season. That year had already been shortened by multiple trips to the IL for groin, knee, and hamstring injuries, with Rendon’s hip ultimately bearing the brunt as he tried to compensate for those other lower-body problems.
Rendon will finish the season with a .228/.324/.383 slash line and five home runs over 188 plate appearances. While this still works out to above-average offensive production (106 wRC+), it is far below the standard Rendon yet during his heyday with the Nationals, or even in his first Angels season in 2020. Since the start of the 2021 campaign, Rendon has hit only .235/.327/.383 in 437 PA, and played in only 103 games.
The Angels signed Rendon to a seven-year, $245M free agent deal in December 2019, and apart from Rendon’s strong performance in the shortened 2020 campaign, this deal is already showing signs of joining the Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton, and Justin Upton contracts in the Angels’ recent history of expensive misfires. Rendon still has four more years to make good on the deal, of course, but he turned 32 earlier this month and now has two lost seasons under his belt.
Rendon’s injury continues a nightmarish stretch for the Angels. In possession of a 27-17 record and a playoff berth on May 24, the Halos have since lost 18 of 21 games, including a 14-game losing streak. Manager Joe Maddon was already fired, and the Angels now face an uphill climb just to break their string of losing seasons, let alone get back into the wild card hunt. While it is still mid-June and plenty of the season remains, losing Rendon creates yet another hole in an already shaky roster.
Matt Duffy and Tyler Wade figure to handle third base duties in Rendon’s absence, which further weakens second base since that duo and Luis Rengifo were juggling time at the keystone. David Fletcher was placed on the 60-day IL in the aftermath of adductor surgery, and in a best-case scenario would return around the All-Star break. Jose Rojas and Kean Wong are at Triple-A, but both are imperfect solutions to an already-shaky infield picture. Should the Halos get back into the playoff picture, any of shortstop, second, or third base could be target areas for the trade deadline, depending on who was available and how Anaheim shuffled its other personnel around the diamond.