Angels News: Mike Trout Fixing ‘Bad Habit’ Formed Over Last Two Seasons
Jun 9, 2023; Anaheim, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout (27) reacts after striking out to end the seventh inning agianst the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Injuries have been the major focus of discussion when it comes to the recent play of Los Angeles Angels superstar Mike Trout. He’s played in 48.8% of the team’s possible games over the last three seasons. But in 2021 and 2022, he was dominant when on the field. Things changed in 2023, when he put together his worst season as a pro.

Trout slashed .263/.367/.490 with an .858 OPS in 82 games last season. All of those figures are career worsts for Trout outside of his 40-game first season. He struck out at a higher rate than ever before, and was especially tripped up by fastballs. He hit nearly 50 points below league average on heaters in 2023. He never looked quite like himself before missing out on a major chunk of the season with a fractured bone in his hand.

Of course, with Trout entering his age-32 season, some legitimate questions have popped up about if this is the beginning of the superstar’s decline. However, he was adamantly against that concept, saying that his struggles actually have a cause beyond just his age, according to Jeff Fletcher of the O.C. Register:

“I’ve been fighting through it for the last couple years,” said Trout, who had a .999 OPS in 2022. “Just get that rhythm down, going through a stretch where I feel comfortable. Looking back, there wasn’t a stretch in the last year or the year before where I felt like myself for a while. Just getting back to that is key.”

“No, no, no,” he said. “It’s not that. I know what I’m doing wrong. I created a bad habit in the last year or two that I’m trying to get out of.”

That habit, Trout said, is “sliding,” as opposed to keeping a firm base. That caused his hips to drop and he “was under everything.”

Trout is not only one of the most talented players in baseball history, but he’s also one of the smartest and quickest to adjust. During the earlier prime of his career, it wouldn’t be out of the ordinary to see Trout struggle with something one year, and turn it into a strength the following season. In 2014, Trout led the Majors in strikeouts. He cut his strikeout rate by at least three percent in each of the next three seasons.

If Trout believes his issues from 2023 are fixable and he knows the fix, it’s a safe bet that the results will show themselves.

Mike Trout not asking for trade from Angels yet

Many have wondered when Trout — the 13-year Halo veteran — will finally say enough is enough. Trout, in 13 years with the Angels, has made the playoffs only one time and has not won a postseason game.

At some point, a trade request away from the Angels felt inevitable. And yet, through it all, he has maintained an undying loyalty to the organization. He signed a 12-year, $426 million contract extension two years before he needed to as a show of faith and loyalty to the Angels. The franchise has yet to give him anything significant in return.

And in perhaps his most candid statements as a Major League Baseball player, Trout finally explained why he has never requested a trade and if that could happen in the future.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *