A huge blow for not just the Los Angeles Angels but all of baseball as two-time MVP Mike Trout has gone down with a torn ligament in his thumb, which will sideline him for more than a couple of weeks. The Angels, whom had low expectations coming into the season, have been carried by Trout to a game below .500 — which is above expectations.
Besides Albert Pujols, who isn’t at his best right now, Trout is the only above-average player the Angels have. Losing him for a possible five-to-eight weeks could make those slim playoff chances the Angels currently have much slimmer.
Trout was on pace for his best year yet with a .337 average to go along with 16 home runs which is currently good for second in baseball behind only the Yankees’ Aaron Judge. Trout’s 3.51 WAR is well above the next closest also Aaron Judge of the Yankees who is .54 behind with a 2.97 WAR. Trout is coming off his second MVP winning season.
The way Trout injured himself has sparked up a long lived argument of players sliding into bases head first. It has caused previous injuries in the past to players fingers but also in other places.
Head-first sliding shouldn’t be banned in baseball because it is a part of some player’s game but at this point players should know the risk of sliding head first into bases and if they do it they have to deal with the consequences such as injury.
Trout’s injury will mark the first time he’s been put on the disabled list in his career with his career starting towards the end of the 2011 season.
One option for Trout is surgery, which would be the longer route which would take five-to-eight weeks. This would really bury the hatchet in any Angels playoff chances. If he decides not to have surgery or at least for now, it would take less time, but you would want to ensure he is fully healthy when returning.
The decision will be decided with what the Angels organization and Trout decide. Eric Young has been called up to take Trout’s spot on the roster.
As for baseball it is pretty disappointing to lose a superstar for a long period of time and for Trout this might cost him a chance for his third MVP award. This leaves the window open for other guys to emerge in the MVP race. We’ll see how much this effects the Angels and if they can steer the ship without him for a little while.