Mike Trout confirms he's done for the season; Angels rout Mariners 14-1

·3 min read
Los Angeles Angels' Mike Trout walks through the detour during a baseball game.
Angels star outfielder Mike Trout walks through the dugout during a game against the Oakland Athletics on Sept. 20. (Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)

They were always in the back of Mike Trout’s mind.

His family. His young son, Beckham. The fans, his teammates, the Angels organization. Trout wanted to be out on the field for each and every single one of them.

Trout’s calf injury, which has kept him out since May 17, has led to a season of sitting on the sidelines and emotional frustration. The three-time MVP said that August, when the Angels were treading water at .500 and looking to make a playoff push, was the toughest month of his career. He told reporters then that he was “going crazy.”

Yet on Saturday, in finally confirming that he would not play for the rest of the 2021 season, Trout seemed in better spirits. The mental pressure of trying to make a comeback was off.

“I think once I made that decision,” Trout said, “it kind of put my head where I needed to be. I’m in a good spot right now.”

Trout spoke before the Angels routed the Seattle Mariners 14-1 in Anaheim. His health was a constant topic for the last couple of months. Behind the scenes, Trout said, he and the training staff were “trying everything” to get him back on the field.

He progressed, slowly. But as the season carried into September, a recovery would still mean taking a week-plus-long rehab assignment. One day he’d feel strong and ready to hop on a plane; the next, he’d wake up and feel sore.

Meanwhile, the Angels, who had hovered around the fringes of the playoff race all season, were starting to slip as injuries finally caught up to them in late August. Trout finished the season with a .333 average and eight home runs in 117 at-bats.

Mike Trout looks over from the dugout before a game against the Dodgers on Aug. 7.
Mike Trout looks over from the dugout before a game against the Dodgers on Aug. 7. (Alex Gallardo / Associated Press)

“Seeing my teammates going out there working hard every day and not being able to contribute, it was probably one of the toughest moments of my career,” Trout said.

He didn’t pinpoint an exact date as to when he was ruled out for the season. But after conversations with the trainers and front-office personnel this month, the decision was made to keep him sidelined.

If the season were 200 games long, fans might certainly have seen him back on the field. Perhaps even 175. But eventually, he ran out of time, he said.

After the mental ordeal, Trout took a little time off. Since returning, he has resumed running and working out, beginning his offseason preparation. Now, he barely feels the injury, which scans have shown is healed outside of residual scar tissue, he said.

“I’m almost 100%, if not 100%,” he said.

Trout has often served as a mentor for the Angels’ youth infusion this season. If his confidence in a full, healthy offseason and spring training ring true, he’ll have the chance to play alongside a lineup of hitters that have stepped up in his absence.

On Saturday night, Shohei Ohtani, whom Trout definitively said was the MVP, knocked a pair of RBI triples. Center fielder Brandon Marsh looked Trout-ish in leaping to rob a home run in the first inning and scored four runs, and All-Star first baseman Jared Walsh collected four hits with four RBIs.

The Angels' Shohei Ohtani slides in for a third-inning triple ahead of the tag of the Mariners' Kyle Seager.
The Angels' Shohei Ohtani slides in for a third-inning triple ahead of the tag of the Mariners' Kyle Seager. Ohtani had two run-scoring triples in a 14-1 win. (Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

Despite the impressive showing, the win hardly brightened a grim Angels ledger, sitting at 74-81.

“This offseason is going to be big,” Trout said. “We’ve got a lot of money to spend — hopefully go out there and get some good guys.”

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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