It’s been just about three weeks since Mike Trout was ruled out for 6-8 weeks with a Grade 2 calf strain. And while the Los Angeles Angels have fared surprisingly well during his absence — 11-10 including the game in which he was injured — they desperately miss their superstar. And if the original timeline holds up, he’d still be about 3-5 weeks away.
Through it all, Trout has been very vocal and involved with the team. While he isn’t taking at-bats or even running yet, he is in team meetings every day and helping his teammates improve. There have also been signs of progress, like when Trout was out of a walking boot last week.
Trout gave more details on the state of his rehab process and what the last few weeks have been like for him, according to Jack Harris of The L.A. Times:
“First week and a half went really good, seeing a lot of progress,” he said. “Then there was a little period where I was feeling the same soreness for a couple days. Today was probably my best day yet, tolerance-wise … The progress the last couple days, it’s been good.”
The Angels superstar also gave some thoughts on the team’s performance in his absence.
“It seems like some games, we score a lot of runs and then the next game it’s pretty quiet from an offensive standpoint,” Trout said of the team’s recent performance. “We’ve got a great offensive team. We never give up. You saw [Sunday], we tried to make that comeback late in the game. You can’t take anything away from the guys. They’re fighting. Just going through a stretch where you put a lot of games together and win a couple ballgames.”
Again, 11-10 is actually a surprisingly good record given what the Angels have done historically when Trout doesn’t play. But it’s even better considering that they’re 9-5 in their last 14. This shows they broke through an early slump and have figured out how to be competitive without Trout in the lineup.
Now, they simply have to keep up the winning ways if they want to be in postseason contention when Trout comes back. At 28-32, the Halos are 6.5 games back in the division and 5.5 games back of a wild card spot.
Joe Maddon discusses lighter June schedule
Part of what is contributing to the Angels recent success is no longer having to play top teams with regularity. In fact, they are in the middle of a 17-game stretch in which 14 of those outings are against teams at or below .500, and Joe Maddon knows this.
He implored the team to approach this section of their schedule with a playoff mentality. If they win most of these games, it puts them right back into the conversation in the American League. If they don’t, it could spell trouble for the rest of the year.