Angels' Luis Rengifo will finish season on injured list with torn biceps

Los Angeles Angels' Luis Rengifo plays during a baseball game, Wednesday.
Luis Rengifo bats for the Angels during a game against the Philadelphia Phillies on Aug. 30. (Matt Slocum / Associated Press)

Luis Rengifo was finally in a good place at the plate. The Angels utility player, their best hitter over the last few weeks, had been one of few recent bright spots for the team.

On Thursday, as he was in the on-deck circle for his first at-bat against the Cleveland Guardians, he ruptured his left biceps tendon. On Saturday, after seeking a second opinion, he was put on the injured list, ending his season.

“A little frustrated,” said Rengifo, who was wearing a black compression sleeve on his left arm, while at his locker before Saturday’s game. “I want to be there and just play, but, happens.”

Rengifo expects to be ready by spring training. He said the plan is to focus on healing, then rehab and potentially start his normal offseason routine by late December.

Read more: Shohei Ohtani is the rarest of players. Missing games is even more rare for the two-way star

Manager Phil Nevin said he's confident Rengifo will recover.

“He’s so important to this dugout, just his energy and what he brings and not just on the field,” Nevin said. “The good news, the timetable of it, he should be ready for spring training next year or right there close. It’s a pretty significant injury, as you know, and the rehab process is pretty grueling.

"But if anybody handles this and tackles this head on, it’s a guy like Luis, who obviously keeps his body in incredible shape.”

Read more: For Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo López and Matt Moore, a surreal weekend in Anaheim

Rengifo had been on a 14-game hitting streak, earning his first American League player of the week accolade. He showed a lot of improvement at the plate over the last two months — he was hitting .202 at the end of June before improving to .264 with a career-best on-base-plus-slugging rate of .783.

“The last two months of the season I've been more consistent,” Rengifo said. “You make adjustments … and you actually do your best every single time when you [go to bat]. You're learning every single day and that's the point.”

Rengifo said that he is proud of his adjustments. “One-hundred percent, yeah. The first half, I felt a little off, but I found my rhythm,” he said.

The Angels recalled right-handed pitcher Gerardo Reyes. On Friday, the Angels recalled outfielder Jordyn Adams, optioning right-handed pitcher Davis Daniel.

“I’m hurt,” Nevin said of Rengifo's injury. “I’m upset for him. I’m gonna miss him being out there, for one, but you [also] miss his personality. But I know he’s gonna tackle the rehab head on and he’ll be good.”

Angels defeat Guardians

The Angels broke out the big bats in a 6-2 win over the Guardians at Angel Stadium on Saturday.

All of the Angels' runs came off home runs. Rookie catcher Logan O’Hoppe started things with his second two-run home run in as many games. Matt Thaiss and Randal Grichuk also homered, as did Brett Phillips, who hit his first homer of the year.

“Something clicked in the first homer yesterday and then just trying to build off that now,” O’Hoppe said.

Three of the homers came off former Angels pitcher Lucas Giolito, who was making his second start with the Guardians.

Tyler Anderson was efficient in his best start of the season. He gave up two earned runs, four hits, walked one and struck out four over eight innings — his longest start since taking a no-hitter into the ninth for the Dodgers against the Angels in June 2022.

Carlos Estévez pitched a scoreless ninth.

Get the best, most interesting and strangest stories of the day from the L.A. sports scene and beyond from our newsletter The Sports Report.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.