The World Baseball Classic is officially over. Team Japan is back on top after knocking off the defending champions Team USA in a thriller of a game. We saw the matchup we all wanted to see, we saw Shohei Ohtani win the MVP award for the whole tournament. It was a great time for Los Angeles Angels fans.
We saw stars like Ohtani and Mike Trout explode on the big stage. It was nice to see them do that, but that was also expected. They're arguably the top-two players in the game, and they played like it.
There were players the Angels sent to the WBC who didn't fare as well, but there was also one who really made a name for himself.
Angels INF Luis Rengifo hurt his cause while playing in the WBC
Luis Rengifo played on a loaded Venezuela team alongside teammate Jose Quijada. While Quijada was used in big spots out of the bullpen, Rengifo barely played.
He appeared in three games and had six at-bats the entire tournament. He had one hit, a single, and struck out twice while also scoring two runs. It's not concerning that he only had one hit in six at-bats, but Rengifo hurt his cause trying to win a starting job by barely playing.
Even Angels manager Phil Nevin expressed his concern with Rengifo barely playing in the WBC saying he might not be fully ready for Opening Day.
I think that's a crazy statement as Rengifo has nine hits in 22 at-bats in Spring Training with two home runs in eight games, so I think he'll be fine. I just don't think sitting on the bench helps him at all.
We know Rengifo is going to play a lot against southpaws because of how well he swung the bat against them last season, but the shortstop job is or was wide open. Rengifo could've used more at-bats to prove he deserves more playing time once the season starts.