Angels’ Anthony Rendon still two weeks from return to lineup

ANAHEIM — Anthony Rendon’s frustrating season isn’t getting any better.

The third baseman was expected to miss just a day or two with a hamstring strain suffered on July 5, and then after he was placed on the injured list he was expected back right after the break.

On Friday, before the Angels played their first game after the break, Manager Joe Maddon said Rendon has not made as much progress as they hoped, and he’ll be about two more weeks.

“Just that rehab process isn’t going as great as we want it,” Rendon said on Friday. “So we’re gonna take a little more time just to kind of figure it out and how we’re going to take it from here on out for the last two and a half months. We didn’t want to rush it back to come back playing where I know I’m not 100 percent or 90 percent, and then it might lead to losing the last two months of the year. So we’re trying to play it smart.”

This is the third time Rendon has been on the injured list this season, and all three times he’s been out longer than initially expected. He suffered a groin strain on April 10 and ended up missing 11 games. He missed nine games after fouling a ball off his left knee on May 3.

Besides all of that, Rendon has hit .240 with six home runs and a .712 OPS.

“It’s definitely frustrating, to say the least,” Rendon said.

Maddon acknowledged that Rendon has been out longer than the initial reports each time, but he had no explanation.

“I can’t deny that,” Maddon said. “The hammy thing we thought was just going to be a couple days, and we’re here right now. I don’t have a solid answer for you. Whenever I tell you stuff, that’s exactly what I’m hearing from the training room and the players.

“This is a little bit longer than we anticipated, but at the end of the day, you want to make sure that the player is well before he comes back. I don’t want anybody going out there and being less than 100 percent.”

TROUT, UPTON UPDATES

Mike Trout, who is out with a strained calf, is still improving, but Maddon isn’t sure when he will start his rehab assignment or return to the lineup.

“The report from the doctor is that he’s getting close to 100 percent,” Maddon said. “Once that occurs, you have to see him go through baseball activities, like running the bases hard, moving quickly and hard, and then of course playing some games. I’m saying he’s close, but I don’t know the exact date.”

Maddon estimated that Trout would be back before Rendon, so sometime before the end of July.

Upton, who is out with a strained back, went through a “really good” batting practice session on Thursday, Maddon said.

“I hate putting a finish line on it,” Maddon said. “It seems like it’s not going to be far away, but it has been, so let’s wait and see.”

EATON ARRIVES

Adam Eaton, who signed with the Angels on Wednesday, was the starting right fielder on Friday. Maddon said that he expects the veteran to “play a lot. Against a tough lefty, I’ll give someone else a shot to keep everybody else solvent, but I’ll get him out there are often as possible.”

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Eaton hit .201 with a .642 OPS with the Chicago White Sox, who designated him for assignment. Maddon said he believes the 33-year-old still has productive days left.

“Very good defensive player and he’s a very good arm,” Maddon said. “I know his offense was down a little bit in Chicago, but we researched that and we feel pretty good about being able to help him. He adds a lot of energy. He’s been a world champion recently (with the 2019 Nationals). I like all that. I’ve been a fan for a long time. I love the way he plays the game a lot.”

The Angels optioned utility man Jose Rojas on Thursday to make room for Eaton.

UP NEXT

Angels (RHP Alex Cobb, 6-3, 4.23 ERA) vs. Mariners (LHP Yusei Kikuchi, 6-4, 3.48), Saturday, 6:07 p.m., Bally Sports West, 830 AM

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