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    Anthony Rendon activated by Angels, in lineup against Rangers
    • July 9, 2024

    ANAHEIM — Angels manager Ron Washington checked in with third baseman Anthony Rendon as he rode to the ballpark on Monday afternoon and immediately recognized the energized tone in his voice.

    Rendon was eager to return to the lineup against the Texas Rangers on Monday night at Angel Stadium after missing 69 games with a torn left hamstring.

    “He had the same excitement in his voice that he had in his voice in the winter,” Washington said of their pre-game conversation. “He really wanted to perform this year, and too bad that hamstring pushed him back. He had this date on the calendar and it’s here, and he’s excited about it.”

    Washington put Rendon back in the leadoff spot for the series opener, just where he was hitting when he injured his hamstring while running out an infield single against the Cincinnati Reds on April 20.

    It was the latest in a string of injuries that have limited Rendon, 33, since the Angels signed him to a seven-year, $245 million contract prior to the 2020 season. The year before, he had led the major leagues in RBIs while helping the Washington Nationals win a World Series title, but he has played in only 167 games and missed 408 since the start of the 2021 season.

    Despite a reputation for being indifferent about his performance and availability, Rendon said he still feels the butterflies in his stomach.

    “You still get nerves every single day you go out in the field, whether you’re playing every day, or whether it’s been three months,” Rendon said. “If you don’t have nerves playing this game, it kind of defeats the purpose of it, right.

    “Long time coming. Ready to keep on going and finish the second half strong.”

    Rendon had a brutal start to this season, going hitless in his first 21 at-bats, but is hitting .370 since then to raise his overall mark to .269.

    “Seeing him come in every single day since I’ve been banged up, the hard work he’s putting in, finally getting him back out there, it means a lot to him,” Angels center fielder Mike Trout said. “It means a lot to the team.”

    Rendon, 33, began taking ground balls last month and faced live pitching for the first time while the Angels were on their recently concluded six-game road trip.

    “It was good to see something coming at me,” Rendon said. “The main thing I wanted to do is run everyday. Obviously, being a hamstring injury, I wanted to make sure I got out there, ran the bases, got moving every single day, and that’s something we didn’t do prior (to the road trip), so with the team being on the road, I got to do that.”

    The immediate plan is for Rendon to play third base in the series opener, move to designated hitter on Tuesday and likely back to third on Wednesday.

    “(Washington) said just let me know when I want to get out there back-to-back days and we’ll ease into it,” Rendon said.

    To make room on the roster, the Angels designated corner infielder Miguel Sano for assignment. He was hitting .205 with two home runs and six RBIs in 28 games.

    “We had to make a decision,” Washington said. “Sometimes, the numbers get you and, in this situation, the numbers got him.”

    TROUT UPDATE

    Trout put on his cleats and went through a full on-field workout on Monday for the first time since he tore the meniscus in his left knee on April 29.

    There’s still no timetable for his return, but Trout has said he hopes to return to the lineup by the end of this month. The three-time American League MVP jogged in the outfield and took approximately 30 swings of soft toss and off the tee.

    “It felt great, (I) feel fine, just progressing like I should be,” Trout said. “It’s good to get out there and start moving around. Don’t have to be in the weight room or cage.”

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    Trout said the next step is running full speed in a straight line, then progressing to the basepaths.

    “The hitting part of it, I have no issues. I don’t have any issues with running or anything yet (either) because I haven’t done it, but what I did today, I feel really good.”

    WARD GOOD TO GO

    Angels outfielder Taylor Ward was removed for a pinch-runner in the ninth inning of a 5-0 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Sunday, an inning after he slid knees first into the wall in foul territory down the left field line at Wrigley Field.

    “Initially, I was worried,” Ward said.

    Ward woke up feeling much better and told Washington he was available to start on Monday, but Washington said he preferred to keep him off his feet and save him for a late pinch-hitting opportunity against the Rangers.

    UP NEXT

    Rangers (RHP Max Scherzer, 1-2, 2.70 ERA) at Angels (RHP Roansy Contreras, 0-1, 3.72 ERA), Tuesday, 6:38 p.m., Bally Sports West, 830 AM

    ​ Orange County Register 

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