The Los Angeles Angels made a smart move by acquiring Hunter Renfroe in a trade with the Brewers. He was acquired to be a middle-of-the-order bopper, and that's exactly what he's been two months into the season. His ten home runs have him at around a 30-home-run pace, which is exactly where he's been most of his career.
While Renfroe does have ten home runs which is a good amount, he's been in a prolonged slump of late. He hit his tenth home run of the season on May 10th against the Astros. He obviously has not hit one since.
Since his last home run, Renfroe is slashing .229/.270/.286 with just three runs batted in. That's while he's primarily hit cleanup behind Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani. He has just four extra-base hits (all doubles) in his last 70 at-bats. Who knows if a lineup shake-up will get him going, but it's worth a try at this point.
LA Angels manager Phil Nevin should move Hunter Renfroe down to fifth in the order to get him going
I'm usually of the belief that lineup placement doesn't really matter much, but in the case of Renfroe, it's impossible to ignore the numbers.
In the cleanup spot, Renfroe is slashing .245/.311/.351 with two home runs and eight RBI in 24 games and 94 at-bats. Batting fifth in the order, Renfroe is slashing .260/.309.560 with eight home runs and 21 RBI in 25 games and 100 at-bats. He has an OPS over 200 points higher from the fifth spot in the order, with 80% of his home runs despite virtually the same number of games and at-bats in both spots.
With Anthony Rendon out, Renfroe was bumped up to the cleanup spot, and rightfully so. Unfortunately, he's completely stopped hitting. Moving Renfroe down to the fifth spot where he's been more comfortable this season and moving someone up who's swinging the bat well like Brandon Drury or even Gio Urshela could make a lot of sense.
There's no way of knowing whether a lineup shake-up will actually do anything. Renfroe has always been a streaky hitter and he's in one of his cold streaks right now. The Angels just desperately need him to wake up, as their offense has fallen into a pretty deep slump as a whole.
Trying the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result isn't going to work. Try and shake something up and see if it sparks Renfroe. The Angels need it.