The Los Angeles Angels had high hopes for their offense entering the 2021 season. At their best, the whole batting order was going to be filled with players who could get on base with ease and hit with power. That was until the injury bug hit, knocking Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon out indefinitely.
Rendon is in the middle of his third — and longest — IL stint, this time for a hamstring strain that has not appeared to heal very quickly. Meanwhile, Trout has been out for over 11 weeks with a Grade 2 calf strain. He was originally supposed to be out 6-8 weeks, but it became clear early on that this wouldn’t be the case.
Trout has also been close to a return a couple times in the past weeks. However, every time he nears a place where he can entertain a rehab assignment, it feels like there’s some sort of setback. That, and the direction of the team in the past few days, have led to conversations about simply shutting Trout down for the rest of the season.
Doing this would ensure that he is 100% ready to go for 2022 while also giving the young players — Jo Adell and Brandon Marsh — a chance to play every day in his absence. Despite those benefits, Joe Maddon has not even entertained this thought, according to Jeff Fletcher of The O.C. Register:
“We’re still hopeful that we’re going to be able to get him back,” Maddon said. “Obviously, the timeline keeps getting pushed back. We all thought that he’d be playing right around now at the worst, but it’s not happening. So we’ll keep playing it all the way through. He’s working really hard, man. He wants to get back. We have not had a discussion of just giving up on it. We have not.”
Maddon appears to be just as disappointed as fans that Trout cannot seem to get past the last stage of his recovery. With muscle strains, there is always a slight risk of re-injury if it’s not completely healed, and the Angels desperately want to avoid that.
There is definitely reason to be cautious with Trout — and Rendon, for that matter — and that seems to be the way the Angels are going. And while there are benefits to shutting Trout down for the season, it’s understandable that they wouldn’t want to go that route.
At a certain point, Maddon and the Angels will have to undergo that difficult conversation surrounding Trout. But with two months left in the season, there’s no reason to have that discussion just yet.
Adell crushes in 2021 debut
Adell looked like a completely new player in his 2021 season debut with the Angels on Tuesday. After a really rough go of it in 2020, he took some time to get right in Triple-A, and the results showed against the Texas Rangers. He went 3-for-4 with three RBI’s and a walk in an 11-3 win for the Halos.