The Los Angeles Angels have been without Mike Trout for over 10 weeks, despite the initial return timeline of just 6-8 weeks. And while he’s made strides in his recovery, things have stalled out just as he began to enter the final stage of a rehab assignment.
The issues came when Trout began to run at full speed. While the team doctors confirmed that there was no structural damage to his calf and that his rehab was going exactly as expected, he still felt a discomfort when trying to run the bases. Joe Maddon didn’t negate the possibility of it being a mental issue, but it has clearly sparked internal conversation.
One of those main conversations is potentially bringing Trout back earlier, but as a corner outfielder. This way, he wouldn’t have to worry about covering as much ground while still being able to help at the plate, according to J.P. Hoornstra of The O.C. Register:
“You would think giving him less ground to cover might be wise,” Maddon said. “So we’ll see how that plays out. I’ve already broached the subject with him. His thought was originally that he was going to be OK once his leg feels fine but we’ll wait and see.”
This is certainly a creative idea from Maddon and the Angels, even if it seems unlikely at the moment. Trout has already said that he doesn’t feel any discomfort in his calf when swinging, only when running at full speed.
However, the Angels are home to MLB’s best designated hitter in Shohei Ohtani, and they would never give him more of a workload by putting him out on the field. Perhaps Trout — after his rehab assignment — could start at right field for a few games just to get his legs back under him.
It would allow Brandon Marsh a few more chances to play his natural position while bringing Trout’s bat back into the equation. Those conversations are all taking place within the Angels organization, but it’s likely to be a little while longer before anything is set in stone.
Ohtani inspiring Angels offense
After an outing against the Colorado Rockies in which Ohtani batted 2-for-3 with a home run, two walks, three RBI’s, and three runs scores, Maddon made it very clear how he feels Ohtani impacts the Angels. He said that Ohtani’s greatness has inspired the rest of the offense, and it’s part of why Justin Upton and Max Stassi also had excellent nights at the plate.