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Anthony Rendon hopes for full, healthy season with Angels



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Anthony Rendon has appeared each bit like the previous World Collection champion the Angels signed after spending many of the final two years on the injured record. His biggest expectation is to make it by way of this season with out some other freak accidents.

And his different expectations for the season?

“To be the final staff standing,” the third baseman mentioned earlier than opening day. “That must be a purpose for each main league staff for this league to be aggressive. If you happen to’re not taking part in this sport to be the final staff standing, then you definately shouldn’t be taking part in in any respect.

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“That must be our purpose each single yr.”

Rendon is certainly one of few gamers within the Angels’ clubhouse who is aware of what it feels wish to be on that final staff.

He performed an important position within the Washington Nationals’ World Series championship in 2019, a yr throughout which he additionally collected his second Silver Slugger award, was an All-Star, was voted All-MLB first staff and MLB Gamers Alternative NL excellent participant of the yr, amongst different accomplishments.

And this yr, thus far, has felt extra regular for Rendon, who had his finest spring coaching of his profession. By means of 15 video games, he batted .500 with a 1.367 on-base-plus-slugging fee.

“I feel it hit me late January, early February,” Rendon mentioned. “I used to be within the cage, I simply had a exercise and it simply got here to me. I used to be like, ‘Man, it truly seems like I’m coaching once more for spring, not essentially rehab for the following season.’

“Two surgical procedures, two years, each offseason was like, ‘All proper, I’ve to rehab, I’m entering into not 100%, I’m making an attempt to get again to it,’ ” he mentioned. “And there was a degree this previous offseason I felt like I used to be truly getting ready for the following season as an alternative of simply making an attempt to get wholesome for subsequent season.”

Rendon mentioned he thought his spring went properly, however he acknowledged the double-edged sword how numbers may be touted by some and shrugged off by others as a result of they weren’t earned towards regular-season competitors.

For manager Phil Nevin — who envisioned in February and doubtless will probably roll out a lineup topped by Taylor Ward, Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani and Rendon on opening day and past — the power Rendon carries going into Sport 1 of 162 is unmistakable.

“Extra so than simply well being, I imply you watch him and he’s capable of make swings that he hasn’t been capable of make in a few years,” Nevin mentioned. “We noticed that early in spring and it’s continued by way of camp.”

In a sport, a wholesome Rendon’s presence is an simple boon. Final season, the Angels had been driving excessive within the American League West earlier than Rendon suffered {a partially} dislocated tendon in his wrist. His teammates know what having him within the lineup means.

“Tony is our anchor,” Ward mentioned. “He’s, I feel, one of many greatest items we have now and I do know we have now so many items, however protecting him wholesome all yr I feel would be the distinction maker for us.”

Angels' Anthony Rendon follows through on an RBI double during the first inning of a spring training game.

Angels’ Anthony Rendon follows by way of on an RBI double through the first inning of a spring coaching sport towards the Dodgers on Tuesday at Angel Stadium.

(Marcio Jose Sanchez / Related Press)

“I don’t need to say having him adjustments our complete staff, but it surely makes us rather a lot higher,” aid pitcher Aaron Loup mentioned. “Nook, third base is an enormous spot. Particularly for me. I get plenty of balls hit down that line there, it appears.”

The Angels, relying on which followers or baseball pundits you ballot, are both nonetheless underdogs or the staff to not be neglected this season.

There’s additionally the narrative that the Angels are going through a World Collection or bust yr, with one other season of Ohtani, Trout and Rendon collectively not assured. However that’s not a stress Rendon mentioned the staff feels from the surface.

“I like the truth that we’re simply flying underneath the radar,” Rendon mentioned, “that we’re simply going to do our factor and we need to be on prime on the finish of the yr.

“We need to shock lots of people.”

And he’s as excited as he has been in his profession to open a brand new season.

“Anytime you make a gap day, it’s particular,” Rendon mentioned. “It’s an enormous achievement. So for the younger guys and even for a man like me that’s been right here for some time, you continue to get butterflies. You continue to benefit from the second.”