Luis Rengifo injury could add these two non-roster invitees to LA Angels Opening Day roster

Next man up.

Los Angeles Angels infielder Luis Rengifo
Los Angeles Angels infielder Luis Rengifo / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Luis Rengifo was pegged to be the Los Angeles Angels Opening Day second baseman this season. But that duty may now fall to Brandon Drury after Rengifo was lifted from Tuesday's Cactus League game against the Cincinnati Reds. He came up lame while running to first base during the opening inning and exited for the remainder.

Rengifo's ailment is officially being called hamstring tightness. After dealing with a hamstring injury earlier this spring, and knowing the lingering effects that come with such injuries, it would not be surprising in the least to see the Angels' infielder begin the upcoming season on the injured list.

While Rengifo claims his hamstring has improved, his potential absence could push two of the team's non-roster invitees onto the LA Angels' Opening Day roster. Miguel Sanó and Ehire Adrianza may now be on the team flight out of Tempe next week.

Miguel Sanó & Ehire Adrianza could join LA Angels Opening Day roster after Luis Rengifo injury

Both Sanó and Adrianza have had their moments during spring training, but neither player has performed well enough to force their way onto the Angels Opening Day roster without a little external intervention. But Rengifo's injury could be the ticket.

Sanó has struck out a ton this spring, going down on strikes in over 30% of his at-bats during Cactus League play. But the 31-year-old has muscled three balls over the fence, and is well known for his next-level power. According to FanGraphs, in seven of his previous nine major league seasons, Sanó has posted a wRC+ above 100.

While Sanó can't really play the field (outside of first base), the slugger could fill in at DH if Rengifo were forced to miss some time. Drury could then take over at the keystone, allowing Angels manager Ron Washington to have two of his most potent bats in the lineup together.

Adrianza is much more suited to actually fill in at second base. A veteran shortstop who saw time with the Minnesota Twins, Atlanta Braves, and San Francisco Giants, Adrianza is an adequate defender up the middle, but can play all over the diamond. This spring, Adrianza has only hit .185, but the 34-year-old has a very low strikeout rate (10%) and could be a solid utility option for the Halos.

Based on the roster construction, one of Sanó or Adrianza is likely to find a spot on the Angels Opening Day roster with Michael Stefanic sidelined due to a quad injury. If Rengifo starts the year on the IL as well, look for both Sanó and Adrianza to break camp with the Angels.

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