The Los Angeles Angels have dealt with the injury plague once again, with star outfielder Mike Trout being the latest piece to the roster working his way back.
Finding themselves on the outside looking in with the playoff picture, the Angels have a hint of optimism, mainly with general manager Perry Minasian, that there’s enough time to make a run. Trout’s ability to change a game on his own in multiple areas is enticing to that thought, and in his recovery from wrist surgery, he’s building on the good days.
Trout has been away from the team since early July, and was just tapping into his best stretch before fracturing his left hamate bone. He’s since been cleared to begin baseball activities, and his latest step was another milestone in his return, per MLB.com:
He progressed to hitting breaking pitches off a machine on Aug. 11. His next step will be facing higher velocity. The Angels still haven’t decided if he’ll need a rehab assignment, but it appears more likely he’ll see live pitching in a simulated environment before he returns.
On the season, Trout posted a .862 on-base plus slugging in 304 at-bats, with 18 home runs, 44 RBI and 54 runs scored. His running mate, Shohei Ohtani, is having another MVP level season, but has certainly been worked around with Trout’s extended absence.
This being Ohtani’s last year on contract, Trout might have an added sense to come back and perform if this indeed their last stretch of play on the same lineup card.
What will the Angels get out of Mike Trout upon return?
When Trout returns to the starting lineup, he’ll have a fair amount of responsibility. The only concern is that he doesn’t press too hard to perform, considering he’s returning from a wrist procedure.
The Angels will likely have to tame his starts, if possible, but with a consistent push for the playoffs, it isn’t likely he’ll take his foot off the gas pedal. Expecting Trout to be immediately back to his old self is asking a lot, and the main indicator of his success will be seen in his ability to take consistent at-bats without any discomfort.
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