LA Angels infielder Anthony Rendon has to step up vs. the Rangers
It might be a bit unfair to put Anthony Rendon on here, but if he's playing, he needs to be productive. Rendon missed almost a month due to injury and came back this past homestand without a rehab assignment.
The rust showed from Rendon who had just one hit in 13 at-bats in the four games he played after returning. Rendon rested each of the final games of those two series, but Phil Nevin said he's expected to play all four games in Arlington. That means Rendon has to produce.
It's been a weird year for Rendon when he's been on the field. His .276 batting average is solid, and his .393 OBP is elite. The weird thing is Rendon, a guy who typically hit for a ton of power, has just one home run in 116 at-bats. Rendon is getting on base a ton, walking at a very high clip, and not striking out. He just isn't hitting for any power.
With Rendon in the cleanup spot the Angels should expect the power to eventually come back, but the reason he's there is because of his clutch hitting. Rendon is by far the clutchest Angel, and the team as a whole seems to click much more offensively when he's in the lineup.
Is it fair to expect Rendon to be the Rendon of old against a really good Rangers staff when he's clearly experiencing rust? Maybe not, but that's what has to happen. He doesn't have to hit home runs, but he has to come through in big spots.
He has one hit in four games since returning. If he has one hit in this four-game series, it's hard to envision the Angels having much success.