Latest Angels injury news adds to uncertainty in the 2024 infield

Another injury is pretty much the last thing the Angels needed right before the start of the 2024 season.
Los Angeles Angels v Oakland Athletics
Los Angeles Angels v Oakland Athletics / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

One of the bright spots from the 2023 season for the Los Angeles Angels was the play of Luis Rengifo. After showing signs of life during the 2022 season where he posted a .724 OPS in 511 plate appearances, 2023 saw him slash .264/.339/.444 and crack 16 home runs. From a utility infielder, you take that every time.

Unfortunately, Rengifo's season was cut short when he suffered a freak biceps tear in the on deck circle. Many were eager to see if Rengifo could replicate his success last season post-injury, but a hamstring injury slowed him early in camp this year and clouded his return. Rengifo did rebound to play in spring games, but his hamstring flared up again yesterday and his availability early in 2024 is now in doubt.

LA Angels News: Luis Rengifo could head to IL with hamstring injury

Losing Rengifo for any appreciable amount of time is decidedly not great for LA. With Anthony Rendon being a walking IL stint and the amount of youth the Angels are already relying on in the infield, the Angels are going to be scrambling a bit to fill their infield if Rengifo is out for a while. Complicating matters, the presumptive favorite to be the team's backup infielder coming into camp, Michael Stefanic, is also banged up.

We'll know more about how the Angels will be forced to cope once the severity of Rengifo's injury is made clear. If his absence is short, then slotting Brandon Drury in at second and just putting SOMEONE on the bench makes sense. If he is going to be out for a while, that seemingly bolsters Ehire Adrianza's case for making the Opening Day roster.

One thing that the Angels almost assuredly won't do much is look much at external candidates. While there will be guys getting cut from camps in the coming days that could technically play in the infield, the Angels seem averse to spending anymore at all, and the cheap guys they could go out and get probably wouldn't represent much of an upgrade over their internal options.

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