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#pounditWednesday, February 1, 2023

Injured Angels slugger could make surprise early return?

Jun 11, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Angels third baseman Anthony Rendon against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Just when you thought that he was finished for the season, one Los Angeles Angels slugger could come running out of the tunnel with a folding chair.

Angels beat writer Jeff Fletcher of the OC Register reports this week that injured former All-Star Anthony Rendon has been participating in drills, including throwing, and has also been hitting in the batting cage. Rendon was believed to be out for the year after suffering a right wrist injury that required surgery. But his encouraging progress has now opened up the possibility that Rendon could return at some point this year.

When asked directly this week if he might be able to return this season, the 32-year-old Rendon replied, “I don’t know. We’ll see,” Fletcher adds.

Under traditional circumstances, it would not make sense for Rendon to return for just the final month of the season to a 60-76 Angels team. But Rendon still has a five-game suspension to serve for his role in the Angels-Seattle Mariners brawl back in June. While it would be quite beneficial for Rendon to get that out of the way before the 2023 season, Fletcher notes that the Angels will have to prove to MLB officials that Rendon is actually healthy enough to play and that they are not just trying to skirt the rules.

Rendon signed a seven-year, $245 million contract with the Angels before the 2020 season but has been a complete and utter bust since then. There is nothing that he can really do to salvage his 2022 campaign, which has been a second straight lost year for Rendon. But getting healthy enough to serve his ban in the next few weeks would at least be a step in the right direction.

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