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Angels could be without Anthony Rendon in season opener

Angels' Anthony Rendon runs the bases during practice at Angel Stadium on July 3.
(Ashley Landis / Associated Press)

The Angels might have to open the pandemic-shortened 60-game regular season at Oakland on Friday night without their marquee winter acquisition.

Anthony Rendon’s oblique injury, which has sidelined the star third baseman since Thursday, appeared to take a little turn for the worse on Monday, throwing the former Washington Nationals slugger’s status for Friday night’s game in doubt.

“All I know is that he’s more sore today, and with that, he really had to back off his work,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said on a videoconference call before Monday night’s exhibition game against the San Diego Padres in Petco Park.

“On the surface, it would appear he’ll have to be pushed back. Knowing him, he’s going to want to play in that first game. I can’t tell you for sure if he’s out of it yet or how long he’s going to be out of it. He’s very motivated. It’s just that he has to get past the soreness.”

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Third baseman Anthony Rendon led the Washington Nationals to the 2019 World Series title with an even-keeled approach that is a welcome addition to the Angels.

Rendon, who signed a seven-year, $245-million contract as a free agent in December after helping the Nationals win the 2019 World Series, felt some tightness in his rib cage during last Wednesday night’s intrasquad game in Angel Stadium.

He has not played since and did not make the trip to San Diego on Monday. Maddon said it’s too early to tell whether Rendon will have to start the season on the 10-day injured list.

“These types of injuries are so unpredictable, and I don’t like to give finish lines for injuries,” Maddon said. “I didn’t speak to the trainers yet, but it’s going to be slow for the next couple of days. I don’t know where that puts him in regard to the end of the week. He needs a couple of days to get that [soreness] out of there.”

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If Rendon can’t play this weekend, Maddon said versatile utility man David Fletcher would most likely play third base, with the left-handed-hitting Matt Thaiss possibly seeing time there as well. Luis Rengifo could be an option if he overcomes a hamstring injury that has sidelined him for several days.


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