The Greatest Player of All Time. No question about it. He has filled up every stat category possible, has numerous awards, and plays for a terrible team but still continues to give them life no matter what they have going on.
Mike Trout initially suffered the injury in a victory over the Cleveland Indians back on May 17th. It was a routine pop up to shallow left field for the shortstop. Trout was on second base and was running towards third as the inning was ending but felt a pop in his lower leg. He said that he was initially scared that his Achillies was torn, but fortunately for him it was just a Grade 2 calf sprain.
Although the Angels had won that game against the Indians, at that point they had dropped 10 of the last 15 games. But now that we are more than a month away from that injury, the Angels are somewhat decent. They are just over .500 in the stretch of games that Trout has not played in.
Shohei Ohtani has been absolutely electric for the Angels as of late and the main reason why they have won some of those games. Surprisingly you would think that a team that loses their best player would be awful for the stretch of games that he is out for, especially someone of Trout’s caliber.
But, credit to Joe Maddon, who has allowed some of these players to step up when it counts and have them pick up the load. They are still very inconsistent as they have never really been able to string a good set of quality wins in the past month.
Fortunately for the Angels, moving Trout from the 10-day IL to to the 60-day IL is not the end of the world. The way that this system works is that the 60 days count from the day of injury, therefore the 60 days would have started on May 18th, when he was originally put on the IL.
This means that he is projected to be able to return in the lineups on July 17th. Which is great news for the Angels because the all-star break would be around July 12-14th.
Do the Angels Stand a Chance Without Him?
Absolutely not. They never even really stood a chance with him in my opinion too. Sure, he was having another MVP caliber season with a .333 batting average, .466 OBP, and a .624 slugging percentage, but realistically he wasn’t setting the world on fire like we’ve seen before.
There are so many moving parts to a baseball organization that one player realistically cannot win you a world series. Sure, that one player could be a great ADDITION to an already great roster, but if you have a mediocre team like the Angels with a few good players it is very hard to carry that team even if you are Mike Trout.
If there is one thing this organization is good at, it is making sure Mike Trout does not get the pieces he needs to succeed, especially in the bullpen. They have great hitters in Anthony Rendon, Shohei Ohtani, and Jared Walsh. But outside of the hitting, the pitching just has not been there and never really has.
Currently 9.5 games back behind the Astros who are first in the AL West, and at least 4 games behind the last wildcard spot, the opportunity to make a big playoff push is dwindling. The Angels really need to turn it around going into the all-star break and even after it. They are nowhere close to being contenders but it would be nice to see Mike Trout in the playoffs.
Joe Maddon is huge on having guys step up when they are called upon but nobody can really live up to Mike Trout. He is such an integral part to that team that they would be even more of a laughing stock in Los Angeles baseball. Another disappointing season in Anaheim, that most likely won’t even end with a playoff appearance (again). But hey, they might have another MVP in Shohei Ohtani.