The LA Angels have tried to find the right combination to get the team on a roll. The latest move is calling up #7 prospect Luis Rengifo as Zack Cozart went on the IL.
Luis Rengifo was acquired by the LA Angels in a trade with Tampa Bay at the beginning of the 2018 season in exchange for first baseman C.J. Cron. Rengifo started 2018 in Single-A and made a meteoric rise all the way to Triple-A before the end of the season. The reason for this, Rengifo can hit.
Rengifo hit a combined .299 batting average with seven homers and 64 runs batted in 127 games. Rengifo also stole 41 bases and had a .399 OBP. So far this season he was hitting .284 in 17 games with Salt Lake City with two homers and nine RBIs.
So on Thursday morning Rengifo finally got the call he had been waiting for: A call to the majors. Rengifo already has his first hit as he got a single in his second at-bat and scored on Kole Calhoun’s two-run homer. Rengifo is a shortstop and second baseman, but can play third base as well which he might be called upon to do with Zack Cozart on the IL for at least 10 days with a sprained neck.
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Rengifo is currently ranked 7th on the Angels top 30 prospects list. If he plays well and proves that he can hit in the majors his stay may be much longer than 10 days. With Zack Cozart struggling at the plate (currently hitting .109) , he may find himself on the bench upon his return from the IL.
Rengifo is definitely a prospect to watch. Even if he doesn’t stick with the Angels this time around he is a key part of the Angels future plans. The only other second baseman that will be with the team next season is David Fletcher as Tommy La Stella only has a one-year contract.
In Other LA Angels News
Tyler Skaggs will be back on the mound tonight after recovering from a sprained left ankle. Skaggs missed two starts while being on the disabled list.
The Angels have not made a decision on who will be pushed out of the rotation with Skaggs returning. Potential candidates to be either sent down to the minors or demoted to the bullpen are Chris Stratton, Jaime Barria, or Felix Pena.
Starting pitcher Nick Tropeano is getting very close to returning from the IL. Tropeano is making a rehab start in Triple-A Salt Lake tonight. He will most likely need multiple rehab starts to build up his stamina before he will be able to return to the major leagues. So Tropeano is probably still three to four weeks away.
Andrew Heaney is also making strides in his rehab as he threw his first bullpen session on Wednesday. He also is probably at least a month away from returning to Anaheim.
The Angels rotation could really use an infusion of some of their top starters as soon as possible. Heaney has been bothered by shoulder inflamation both at the start of the 2018 season and then again this season. Last year after he returned in mid-April Heaney made a career-high 30 starts. Hopefully that will again be the case this season.
Shohei Ohtani is much closer to returning as he continues to take live batting practice and will hit in some simulated games as well before returning. Fox Sports Trent Rush @trentrushsports, sent out this tweet Thursday in regards to Ohtani’s progression.
More than likely you will see Ohtani sometime on the next home stand which will begin next Tuesday, possibly when the Houston Astros come to town on Saturday May 4th and Sunday May 5th.
Stay tuned to Halo Hangout for the latest on Angel players rehab. If they do a rehab assignment in Inland Empire we will be there live to cover it.