Mike Trout is recovering slower than expected with a calf injury, but the Angels maintain they are expecting him to return in 2021.
ESPN reported on Wednesday that Angels general manager Perry Minasian said there are no plans to shut Trout down this year despite his slow recovery and the end of the 2021 campaign coming up.
“My policy with any player is we go day-to-day and communicate,” Minasian said, according to the report. “From our end, we will not rush him. We want him to feel good about how his calf feels and to play at his level when he does come back.”
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Trout left Los Angeles’ game against the Indians back on May 17. The following day, the team said it expected him to be out six to eight weeks, but he has now been absent for 12 weeks.
The Angels could have certainly used the best player in the sport this year as it seemed they could have made a postseason run. Two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani is the front-runner for MVP and helped keep the team in the playoff hunt, but as of Thursday morning, the Angels were 8.5 games back of the second wild card and are a game under .500. FiveThirtyEight now gives them less than a 1 percent chance of reaching the postseason. Los Angeles has made the playoffs just once during Trout’s extraordinary 10-year career, when it faced the Royals in 2014 in what proved to be a three-game sweep by Kansas City in the ALDS.
For all of Trout’s success in his illustrious career, his biggest obstacle has been health. He has not played in more than 140 games since 2016. So far in 2021, Trout has again been putting together a standout campaign, slashing .333/.466/.624 with eight homers and two stolen bases and a 191 OPS+ in just 36 games. At the time of his injury, his 2.3 Fangraphs WAR was tied with Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts for the highest among MLB hitters.