The Los Angeles Angels finally caught a break on Tuesday when it was announced that second baseman Howie Kendrick suffered only a mild sprain in his left knee, an injury sustained after he collided with right fielder Collin Cowgill on a fly ball Monday night.
With just a mild sprain, Kendrick will only miss more a few days, as opposed to the several months he would have had to miss if there had been structural damage to his knee.
Kendrick has been the Angels’ most consistent offensive player not named Mike Trout. His .301 average and four triples rank second on the team in both categories. Though his struggles in the field have hurt the Angels at times, his bat is a welcome presence in the middle of the Los Angeles order.
Perhaps the most significant consequence of Kendrick’s good news is that he remains a prime trade asset going into the offseason. Few teams will give away a reliable player for one who just suffered structural damage to his knee, so Kendrick’s value remains high. The Angels’ second baseman was at the center of trade talks heading into the July 31 deadline, though ultimately no deal materialized and the Angels failed to land a sorely needed starting pitcher.
Whether or not Kendrick remains in the Halos’ starting lineup on opening day next season, expect to see GM Jerry Dipoto make at least one significant trade in the offseason. A healthy Kendrick can only help him do that, so the Angels are breathing a deep sigh of relief.