Anthony Rendon has not played since July 4. The Angels third baseman fouled a ball off his left leg and was diagnosed with a shin contusion. 10 days later, the Halos finally placed him on the injured list. A month thereafter, he was transferred to the 60-day IL.
While neither Rendon nor the team had been particularly forthcoming with updates, the 11-year veteran met with reporters this afternoon. Rendon told the Halos beat he’d been diagnosed with a fractured tibia last month (relayed by Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register). Questioned why the Angels had continued to refer to his injury as a bone bruise, he told reporters to ask team personnel.
The Angels have not released a statement on Rendon’s comments, nor have they confirmed the fracture. However, manager Phil Nevin indicated the rehab process for a shin contusion and a fracture were not different — suggesting the difference in diagnosis is immaterial. A source close to the team tells Alden González of ESPN that Rendon had initially met with four doctors, two apiece chosen by the team and by the player’s camp. After those four evaluations diagnosed a bone bruise, a fifth doctor (chosen by Rendon) called the injury a fracture.
It’s the continuation of a bizarre sequence of events, although both Rendon and agent Scott Boras told reporters there’s no ill will towards the organization. “The treatment plan the Angels were giving and what he was to do was synonymous with what the doctors had recommended,” Boras said.
There’s still not a ton of clarity on Rendon’s overall prognosis. He’s eligible to return from the IL at any point and left open the possibility of coming back this season, although that’d seem a long shot with only two weeks remaining. If he doesn’t make it back, his year will conclude with a .236/.361/.318 showing with two homers across 183 plate appearances.
Rendon has hit just 857 times in four seasons since signing a seven-year, $245MM free agent deal. He got into 52 of 60 games during the shortened 2020 campaign but has appeared in only 148 contests over the three subsequent seasons. If he doesn’t return this year, he’ll have gotten into slightly more than 30% of the Angels’ games from 2021-23.
There are three years remaining on that deal, which was backloaded. Rendon is due $38MM annually through 2026. The Angels have used Eduardo Escobar and Mike Moustakas — both of whom are impending free agents — as their third base tandem in the second half.