Rengifo and Sano returning soon; Washington doubles down

Ric Tapia - The Sporting Tribune
Ron Washington preaches patience regarding this Angels team. Plus two veterans returning to the lineup soon.

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Angels have been decimated by injuries this season but the Angels have two players potentially returning during the upcoming road trip.

Luis Rengifo, who is on the 10-day injured list with foot blisters stemming from a viral infection, told reporters that he expects to come off the injured list Friday against the Texas Rangers.

Miguel Sano, who has been sidelined with a knee injury, said he is going to the team’s Spring Training complex in Arizona to face live pitching and play in games. He said he expects to be there a few days and potentially rejoin the team some time during the road trip.

“I feel great. The last couple days I’ve been hitting and getting some grounders,” Sano said.

Angels manager Ron Washington said he looks forward to have the two players returning soon.

“It’s going to be nice when we get those power bats back in our lineup,” Washington said. “Every time those guys go up there’s the potential that one swing can get us more than one run.”

Also on the injury front, Chase Silseth went to Arizona today and will be facing hitters soon.

In the Spring Training complex, Michael Stefanic went 1-2 with a RBI and played three innings at second base for the ACL Angels. Guillo Zuniga pitched two-thirds of an inning, allowed one hit and hit a batter.

Day off for Adell

The notable absence in the Angels lineup Wednesday was Jo Adell.

Adell has been in the starting lineup in 21 consecutive games dating back to April 22 against the Baltimore Orioles. The last time Adell was not in the starting lineup was on April 21 against the Cincinnati Reds.

He has been the team’s everyday right fielder and with the day off Thursday, Washington felt it was a good opportunity to get Adell some rest.

“Ever since he’s become the regular right fielder, he’s played every single inning in every single game,” Washington said. “I just thought this was a good opportunity for him to get today, tomorrow and when we get to Texas he’ll be real fresh.”

Washington doubles down

Washington faced criticism from fans and media Tuesday night for calling a suicide squeeze in the eighth inning.

Luis Guillorme missed the bunt attempt which resulted in Zach Neto being tagged out at home plate. The pitch was well-outside the strike zone, but Washington criticized Guillorme for not getting the bunt down regardless.

“Sinker ball left-hander,” Washington said. “I didn’t want (Guillorme) to hit into a double play. He can handle the bat. He didn’t do the job. It wasn’t anything I did wrong. He didn’t do the job.”

When pressed by reporters about the pitch being outside, Washington became agitated.

“Wild?” Washington said. “He was throwing the ball in the strike zone. Why are you making excuses? He was throwing the ball in the strike zone. He did not get the bunt down. Period.”

After having a day to reflect, Washington was asked if he wanted to clarify any comments from last night.

“There is no clarification on what I saw. Everybody here saw what I saw, I just made a comment on it,” Washington said.

Washington faced criticism from national media as well for his postgame comments Tuesday. Chris Rose and Trevor Plouffe of Jomboy Media, felt Washington threw Guillorme under the bus and didn’t take responsibility for the questionable coaching decision.

Washington preaches patience

Washington is no stranger to taking over struggling teams.

The Texas Rangers won just 75 games in his first year as the team’s manager. Washington famously took the Rangers to back-to-back World Series appearances in 2010-2011.

“You guys just don’t see the itty bitty increments in the growth these guys are having. I’m happy with the way we’ve been playing. I want to see us win more ball games but you have to learn to do that. This group, they are learning how to win.”

Angels manager Ron Washington

He said he sees progress with the Angels this season the same way he saw it in Texas and in his other stops as an assistant coach.

“You guys just don’t see the itty bitty increments in the growth these guys are having,” Washington said. “I’m happy with the way we’ve been playing. I want to see us win more ball games but you have to learn to do that. This group, they are learning how to win.”

Washington said he sees players have “a-ha” moments everyday.

“They all have skills. They all do something out there on a certain night that you go, ‘wow I wish he learned how to consistently do that,'” Washington said. “Just got to be patient.”