The angels have been without Mike Trout for a couple of weeks. The three-time MVP went on the injured list July 18 with chest inflammation, and while he’s technically now eligible to return, his timetable for getting back on the field is uncertain.
Yesterday, the team’s head coach Mike Frostad addressed Trout’s injury with reporters (including Sam Blum of the Athletic and Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register). Frostad said the trout had been diagnosed “a costovertebral dysfunction“in the back, as he called”a rather rare condition.“The coach added that the situation was something the club”(have to) watch as — he has to make it, not only through the rest of this season, but probably through the rest of his career.“
Frostad’s memo about the need to monitor the condition throughout Trout’s career prompted understandable concern among the Angels fan base, but the future Hall of Famer quickly assured that he is not concerned about the issue long term. “I appreciate all the prayer requests but my career is not over,Trout half-jokingly told reporters about the public response to Frostad’s comments. Trout added that he feels like he’s made progress in his recovery in recent days, responding “of course, that’s my goalwhen asked if he expected to return to the field in 2022. He admitted that he has to “staying on top of the routine I do on a daily basis to prevent it from coming back,” to Frostad’s point about managing the condition, but expressed optimism that it won’t be particularly problematic.
Trout’s hope is certainly welcome news for Halos fans and the organization at large, but it appears he’s still out for the foreseeable future. He has yet to resume baseball activities after receiving a cortisone injection last week. Trout will see a back specialist this weekend, he told reporters, and hopes to be cleared to increase his work beyond the conditioning and stability training he’s been doing.
The Angels lost trout for most of last season. He played in 36 games before suffering a calf strain in May. While the club initially hoped he could return within two months, the injury lasted long enough for them to eventually shut him down for the season. Trout has bounced back to get into 79 games so far in 2022, and he’s had a typically stellar year. Through 326 plate appearances, the ten-time All-Star is hitting .270/.368/.599 with 24 home runs. Among hitters with 300+ trips to the plate, only Yordan Alvarez, Paul Goldschmidt, Aaron Judge and Rafael Devers has a wRC+ higher than Trout’s 167 — a mark that indicates he has been 67 percentage points better than the league average hitter.
In an all-too-familiar script, Trout’s excellence hasn’t been enough to overcome the roster’s other flaws. The Halos enter play Thursday with a 42-56 record that will almost certainly lead to an eighth straight year without reaching the postseason. The club’s place in the table points to their increasing caution in bringing back the trout, as it did last year.