The Los Angeles Angels hope to unveil their big offseason acquisition in their home opener Tuesday night against the Seattle Mariners.
Third baseman Anthony Rendon, signed to a seven-year, $245 million contract after leading the major leagues in RBIs last year and guiding the Washington Nationals to their first World Series championship, is expected to make his Angels debut after missing the first four games of the season due to an oblique injury.
“At the worst, (Wednesday), without any kind of setbacks,” manager Joe Maddon told reporters of Rendon’s status before the Angels’ 3-0 road loss to the Oakland A’s on Monday. “It’s one of those things where you want to make sure you don’t rush it where you have a longer-term situation.
“This was part of the plan. … We’ll have him do his stuff, and we’ll figure it out after that.”
With the Angels off to a slow start on offense, Rendon’s bat should provide a boost. They scored just 11 runs in losing three of four games to the Athletics, with whom they figure to compete with for a berth in the expanded playoffs. In the Monday shutout, the Angels struck out 12 times, including in five of their eight at-bats with a runner in scoring position.
While the Angels expect to get Rendon back, they might be without shortstop Andrelton Simmons, who left Monday’s game after injuring his left ankle while beating out an infield single in the ninth inning.
Maddon said Simmons was being evaluated.
“We have to wait for him to see the doc and then get the report back from the medical staff,” Maddon said. “I don’t know enough yet. I’ve heard about previous injuries. I had a really good look at it and could see it without having to look at replay to see the way he turned it at the back of the bag.”
David Fletcher, who has played third in Rendon’s absence, likely would move over to shortstop if Simmons is sidelined.
The Angels had to shuffle their rotation after right-hander Matt Andriese, who was set to start the home opener, pitched 5 2/3 innings of scoreless relief Sunday.
Left-hander Patrick Sandoval will now get the start against the Mariners. Sandoval was 0-4 with a 5.03 ERA in 10 appearances, including nine starts, as a rookie last season. He will be facing Seattle for the first time.
Left-hander Justus Sheffield is set to make his season debut for the Mariners. Sheffield went 0-1 with a 5.50 ERA in eight games for Seattle last season, including seven starts. He has never before faced the Angels.
Mariners rookie first baseman Evan White hit his first major league homer Monday in Seattle’s 8-5 loss in Houston. White’s two-run shot in the third inning gave the Mariners a 3-0 lead, but Seattle was unable to hold on, falling for the third time in the four-games opening series.
Mariners manager Scott Servais was encouraged by his team’s approach at the plate. Seattle went 4-for-12 with runners in scoring position and out-hit Houston 9-8.
“We had a lot of really, really good at-bats,” Servais said. “We scored five runs and left something like 10 guys on base, so we had a chance to get even more than that. That’s a positive. Our young guys, our offense and lineup is starting to churn a little bit.”
–Field Level Media