ANAHEIM – It’s official: Anthony Rendon’s “end of season surgery” wasn’t the end of the season after all.
Rendon, who underwent wrist surgery in June, was able to pass the final test to be activated on Wednesday. Rendon served a five-game ban in June for his role in the fight with the Seattle Mariners, which will see him play three games in Oakland next week.
After losing the end of his season to hip surgery in 2021, Rendon said his aim all along had been to return by the end of this season to go “quietly” into a winter without rehab.
“That was always my expectation,” Rendon said. “It’s two years in a row now. Whether it would happen or not, I would push myself to come back this year. If it worked, it worked. If not, that was fine. I agreed. When I went into the offseason, I didn’t want to leave anything behind.”
By returning this year, Rendon is now also dealing with the suspension instead of serving the first five games of the 2023 season.
Rendon, who is completing the third year of a seven-year, $245 million contract, insisted serving the suspension is not the primary motivation for a return.
Rendon began field practice in August, his baseball activity gradually increasing, making it obvious he was trying to come back. He faced some of the Angels’ minor league pitchers in practice on Tuesday and Wednesday, the final hurdle to clear before the Angels could activate him.
Rendon will be able to continue training during his suspension and face live pitching practices, further preparing him for real competition on Monday.
“That’s really a credit to him,” said manager Phil Nevin. “You hear the end of the season, people would shut it down. Anthony has been here, present every day with his teammates, which is great. We had many young people coming and going here and he was a mentor to them. I can’t think of a man who would be much better. World Champion of the series. The things he did in this game. The knowledge he has. It’s a credit to him and the work he’s put in behind the scenes to get to this point.”
The Angels had to vacate spots on the 40- and 28-man rosters for Rendon, who was on the 60-day injured list, so they designated infielder Mike Ford for the field. The Angels will play with just 27 active players during the five-game lockdown.
Ford had hit .231 with .667 OPS in 28 games with the Angels and played first base almost every day. Now the Angels will initially field Matt Thaiss and Matt Duffy for the final eight games of the season.
PROPS FOR SOTO
Livan Soto, 22, has impressed Nevin in his first 10 major league games, hitting a .379 with 1.027 OPS. But it was one of his outs that Nevin was talking about when describing Soto’s work at the plate.
On Tuesday night, left-hander Soto faced Oakland left-hander AJ Puk. The Left hit .161 against Puk. Soto picked up a slider from the plate and reached out, putting a bat on it and firing it into right field. A’s second baseman Tony Kemp made a dive catch.
“This is probably the toughest left-to-left batting game in the major leagues,” Nevin said. “I know he didn’t take it hard but the fact of the matter is he stayed in and made a good swing on a good pitch. It shows me that he is fearless. When it comes to moments like that, it’s nice to see that in a young player.”
Mike Trout will carry a mic during Bally Sports West coverage of Thursday’s Angels game, which will be home to Shohei Ohtani’s final start of the season. …
Infielder David Fletcher (bruised hand) faced a live pitch in a pregame practice. Nevin said Fletcher is “very close” to being activated. “I imagine we’ll see him here very soon.” …
Major League Baseball made a points change from the Angels’ Sept. 20 game in Texas, charging left fielder Jo Adell with an error and removing a earned run from Patrick Sandoval’s line. Corey Seager hit a double on the left field line and Adell misplayed it. Initially, the goalscorer ruled there was no fault as he believed Marcus Semien would have scored from the start had it not been for the miss. …
Catcher Logan O’Hoppe became the 65th player to appear in a game for the Angels that season, setting a new franchise record.
Angels (RHP Shohei Ohtani, 14-8, 2.47) vs. A’s (LHP Cole Irvin, 9-12, 4.11), Thursday 6:38 p.m. Bally Sports West 8:30 a.m