LA Angels News

LA Angels Luis Rengifo may be sent down to minors with Simmons returning soon?

By David Rice
TORONTO, ON - JUNE 20: Luis Rengifo #4 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim celebrates with teamates after scoring a run in the fifth inning during a MLB game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on June 20, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JUNE 20: Luis Rengifo #4 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim celebrates with teamates after scoring a run in the fifth inning during a MLB game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on June 20, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /
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The LA Angels had to make a tough decision last Monday when Justin Upton was activated. They had to DFA Cesar Puello who was hitting nearly .400.

Now LA Angels manager Brad Ausmus will have to make another tough decision soon as Andrelton Simmons is close to returning from the IL.  Simmons did have a slight setback Wednesday in his second rehab start as he went off the fielding limping.  According to Ausmus, Simmons could still be back Tuesday when the Angels take on the Reds.

With that being said the Angels will have to make a decision on who they will send down to make room for Simmons.  Most people would say this would be an easy decision as they can demote Wilfredo Tovar. Tovar has done well with the glove, but his bat has not come around. Tovar is hitting just .195 with two RBIs.

However, if it were that simple we would not be discussing this pending move.  Tovar is out of options so if the Angels were to send him out he would have to clear waivers before being sent to Triple-A Salt Lake.

So there is a chance the Angels could lose Tovar just like they did with Puello when the Marlins claimed him and the Angels were forced to trade him for cash. In Tovar’s case he is not as likely to be claimed by another team, but it is still possible.

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The other option, which will be somewhat unpopular with Angel fans, is to send Luis Rengifo to Salt Lake instead. Rengifo does have options so he could be sent down without the risk of losing him.  However, Rengifo has been hot as of late, including going 3 for 5 with a homer and three RBIs on Thursday night against Toronto.

Rengifo is currently hitting .254 with two homers and 14 RBIs. He has also proved to be a strong fielder and has definitely been the better of the two.

This scenario is one of many that a novice or even a seasoned fan would not realize the motivation behind it.  As with the Puello decision the Angels had to weigh their options.  They could have kept Puello and put Brian Goodwin through waivers and risked losing him.

In Goodwin’s case he was a left-handed hitter who could play all three outfield spots whereas Puello could only fill the corner outfield spots.  In addition Goodwin was a much better defender who could be used as a late-inning defensive replace for Upton or as a lefty pinch-hitter or pinch runner.  So this made the choice much more clear.

In the Tovar and Rengifo situation, Rengifo has a lot more upside than Tovar, however the Angels would rather have him play every day in the minors then be used maybe twice a week in the majors.  This is a role Tovar is more suited for and he can definitely be used as a late-inning defensive replacement as well as a pinch-runner.

Next. The LA Angels top prospects in Single-A are hot.

We will see what the Angels decide to do when Simmons does come off the IL, most likely next week. If the Angels do indeed send Rengifo down you will now know the method to the Angels madness. You don’t have to like the reasoning and it is still your right to be upset, but at least you will know why.

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