Angels are about to make an insane decision regarding Anthony Rendon’s return

It sounds like Anthony Rendon could return this week, but the process behind his return is extremely questionable.
New York Yankees v Los Angeles Angels
New York Yankees v Los Angeles Angels / Brandon Sloter/GettyImages

Fans of the Los Angeles Angels have been understandably skeptical regarding the pending return of Anthony Rendon. Not only has Rendon's entire tenure with the Angels been a mix of injuries, disappointment, and tone deaf comments, but he suffered a pretty significant hamstring injury this spring that would be tough for anyone to come back from, even if they weren't made of glass like Rendon appears to be.

As a result, when Rendon suggested that he may not need a rehab assignment, it was as crazy a suggestion as it sounded. He has played a total of 19 games over the last calendar year, and the idea that he wouldn't need at least a couple games in the minors to get his legs under him was foolish.

Sadly, it also sounds like that that is exactly what the Angels are planning on doing, as not only are they letting Rendon decide when he is ready to play, but the Angels could have him back in the lineup as soon as Monday.

LA Angels' handling of Anthony Rendon's return could be a disaster

In no world should a guy who has said that baseball isn't a priority for him and who's averaged less than 50 games played per year from 2021-2023 because of injuries have the final say on whether or not he goes out on a rehab assignment. Granted, the Angels DID bring in some minor league pitchers over the weekend so he could face live pitching, but that is not anywhere close to simulating how actual games play out.

However, Angels manager Ron Washington was pretty unequivocal in his stance on the matter when he said, "Our intention was for him to be ready when we get back. When we get back, we’ll assess that. And if he’s ready to go, he’ll be in there tomorrow." Washington went on to say that once Rendon returns, he will be hitting leadoff and playing third base, although he did note that Rendon could DH the following day to keep him off his legs.

This is objectively insane. Obviously the Angels are in a tough spot as a team right now, but what in Rendon's recent history suggests that he should be thrown into the most important spot in the lineup immediately? Ignoring the fact that the odds of Rendon hurting himself go up without a minor league rehab, Rendon has looked very ordinary when he has been playing with the Angels. What signal does that send to this young Angels team that he immediately gets thrown back into the lineup at the leadoff spot while other guys have been putting in the work?

Ultimately, this is a situation that will take care of itself. Perhaps Rendon defies the odds and makes LA look like geniuses for bringing him back immediately and he finally starts to earn his contract. However, history tells us that it is more likely that he will be mediocre at best and then will probably get hurt again, unfortunately.

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