Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout has missed the team’s last three games after taking a pitch to the elbow in the team’s series opener against the Houston Astros. The team struggled without him, going 1-2 including a 16-2 blowout loss.
Trout was listed as day-to-day with an elbow contusion after the injury, and prior to each of the Astros games, he took some swings to see if he could be in the lineup. Clearly, he never felt good enough to make an appearance, and Joe Maddon said he was not even available as a pinch hitter.
On Sunday, Trout said that his elbow was feeling better and that he looks forward to being in Monday’s lineup against the Texas Rangers, according to Jeff Fletcher of The O.C. Register:
“It’s getting better each and every day,” Trout said before Sunday’s game in Houston. “I took a couple swings. It’s still not 100 percent, but I look forward to being in the lineup tomorrow.”
Trout was hit by a pitch on Thursday night. Each day the Angels have expressed hope that Trout could play the following day, but so far he has not returned to the lineup. The 93 mph fastball hit an elbow pad, which took the brunt of the impact. He was diagnosed with a contusion.
This is great news for the Angels, who not only played the last three games without Trout, but also Anthony Rendon, Max Stassi, and Juan Lagares. All three have been on the injured list for nearly two weeks, but could be activated as early as Monday.
Third baseman Anthony Rendon (left groin strain), catcher Max Stassi (left thumb sprain) and outfielder Juan Lagares (left calf strain) all could be activated any day, Manager Joe Maddon said.
In Rendon’s case, Maddon specifically said he “liked to believe (Monday). If not the worst case scenario should be the day after that.”
Trout and Rendon are two of the biggest reinforcements a team could possibly get back into their lineup. Having them back completely changes the Angels offensive attack, becoming less reliant on home run balls from players like Shohei Ohtani and Albert Pujols.
The Angels now face six consecutive games against AL West opponents, meaning now is the perfect time to build some wins and get out of their recent slump.
Shohei Ohtani wants to pitch and hit on Monday
Joe Maddon revealed that Ohtani — who will be getting the start on the mound for the Angels — also would like to hit against the Rangers. Maddon said he’s unsure how it will work given the current state of the Angels depth, but getting players back from the injured list could make it an easier decision.