Angels News: Ron Washington Warned Mike Trout To Slow Down In Trying To Be A Leader
Jun 29, 2023; Anaheim, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout (27) runs after hitting a single against the Chicago White Sox during the ninth inning at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Angels superstar Mike Trout has had to answer plenty of questions during Spring Training about where he stands with the organization and his future in Anaheim. Besides a new manager in Ron Washington, the Angels did not make the changes necessary in the offseason to improve their fortunes, as they are slated to win somewhere between 74-78 games according to multiple projection sites.

Trout has already been open about the fact that he pressured Angels management to sign big-name free agents, which they did not, and about the fact that while he has no plans to ask for a trade, he won’t predict the future on that subject. For now, his focus is trying to both win a championship with the Angels and get back to his MVP form after injuries have derailed each of his last three campaigns.

Washington, who has only been around Trout this offseason and the beginning of the Spring, has a theory on what may be causing some of Trout’s injury issues and why his 2023 season was the worst of his career, finishing with an .858 OPS, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic:

“You have to slow him down,” Washington said. “I’m not saying he’s out of control. But he’s out there every day and he’s giving everything he has, to lead as an example. And I just have been trying to tell him, you can still lead. But just slow it down. Don’t burn yourself out.”

It’s clear Trout wants two things: to win with the Angels and to do so playing at his absolute best. One likely can’t happen without the other, but even Washington feels as though Trout may need to slow down. There is such a thing as trying to do too much in baseball, and Trout certainly could fall victim to that if he continues trying to lift the Angels all by himself.

That is also on the organization to put a team around him that can support him instead of forcing MVP-caliber play out of someone for over a decade without any results.

Mike Trout fixing bad habit

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:

“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.”

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