It’s no secret the Los Angeles Angels have dealt with a plethora of injuries this season. The club has been without several key contributors for significant stretches which undoubtedly hampered their playoff hopes.
Arguably the most notable absence is Mike Trout, who hasn’t played in a game since the middle of May due to a Grade 2 calf strain. The injury was supposed to keep him out roughly 6-8 weeks, but he still has not returned despite making several attempts at beginning a rehab assignment.
Trout noted that the recovery process has been rough on him from a mental standpoint as he wants nothing more than to get back on the field and help his teammates win games.
Trout recently rejoined the Angels and still has ambitions to play again this season, but with only 23 games left on the schedule, he likely will not get the chance to do so, via MLB.com:
Trout joined the Angels on their road trip to San Diego and is trying to return before the end of the season, but he is running out of time and is likely to be shut down for the year. Manager Joe Maddon said that Trout is still rehabbing and not ready to give up on playing this season just yet.
The possibility of Trout missing the rest of the 2021 season is disappointing, but the Angels can take solace in the fact that he will be well rested and fully healthy heading into next year.
In more positive injury news, Alex Cobb is making progress toward a return and could rejoin the Angels rotation as soon as next week:
After throwing a live bullpen session on Saturday at Angel Stadium, Cobb threw another one on Tuesday at Petco Park and will pitch in a simulated game in Houston this weekend. He could rejoin the rotation after that but there’s a chance he’ll need a rehab assignment. He previously underwent testing on his wrist, which revealed no structural damage.
Cobb has not pitched since the end of July due to right wrist inflammation but will get an opportunity to build on what has been a productive season. In 15 starts, he has posted a 7-3 record, 3.82 ERA, 2.63 FIP and 1.26 WHIP with 84 strikeouts against 26 walks across 77.2 innings.
The 33-year-old is scheduled to reach free agency at the end of the year, and a strong finish to the 2021 season will only help him improve his stock.
Barria puts together solid ‘audition’ for 2022
With Cobb and several other starters missing a significant amount of time this season, some of the younger Angels’ pitchers have had the opportunity to pitch meaningful innings at the big league level.
Among them is Jaime Barria, who recently impressed manager Joe Maddon in his last start against the Texas Rangers and may challenge for a spot in the rotation in Spring Training next year.