The last week of the regular season was shaping out to be a landing strip for Mike Trout to return to the Los Angeles Angels lineup. But out of an abundance of caution for their start center fielder, they recently opted to place him on the 60-day injured list.
Trout hitting the IL essentially ended his season, and the hope he had to find a bit of a rhythm with game speed will need to wait until Spring Training. The return from a fracture hamate bone wasn’t as hasty as the team had hoped, but there’s no reason to push him with their slot in the standings.
He appeared in 82 games this season, but when he was on the field, Trout was very productive. His .857 on-base plus slugging with 18 homers, 44 RBI and 54 runs scored looked like his old self, and the 32-year-old discussed his disappointment over not returning, per Jeff Fletcher of the O.C. Register:
“Came back probably sooner than I should have,” Trout said. “I wanted to be out there with the guys. Pushed it. It was just sore. I was uncomfortable. When I came back, I was in pain. My swing wasn’t right. Just wasn’t myself. I was taking it day by day, trying to wait for the soreness and discomfort to go away and it never did.
“Now, giving it a few extra weeks off, it’s going away. I’ve been swinging. Obviously, I’m not going to come back but I just want to get my head straight for the offseason. Clear my mind. Just have a healthy offseason.”
Trout hasn’t played an entire slate of games, or even 140 since the 2016 season, but for him, he’s eyeing a self-motivated push to erase that low-bar:
“The biggest thing, from a personal standpoint, is playing a full season,” Trout said. “I think getting back to that, and avoiding these big-time injuries … I think doing that will lead to success for sure.”
The Angels don’t need Trout to push himself to return, their current spot with allowing young players to get Major League reps is completely fine and necessary for growth. But looking into the offseason and beyond, figuring out how Trout plays into that will be a key component in their plans.
Mike Trout couldn’t push it in return to Angels lineup
Being out since July 3, Trout’s been walking a fine line in pushing his accelerated rehab and his desire to return to the Angels.
He returned for just one game in late August, but the feeling in his hand prompted Trout and the team to shift off their plans of return.
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