The inevitable has happened. Mike Trout, the consensus best player in baseball, has landed on the disabled list for the first time in his career. Any time a team loses their best player, their season changes. However, this is different.
Mike Trout was having his best season ever. He was on pace two win his third MVP award this year. All he had to do was keep playing.
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And now, he sits.
Trout torn a ligament in his thumb, and has opted to recover through surgery. He will be out for six to eight weeks. Not only does this take Trout out of any serious award races, but it just about ruins the Angels chances at accomplishing anything this season.
The Angels are a middle-of-the-pack baseball team. That is when Trout plays. Now that he sits, the Angels are a squad full of aging veterans and role players. If Trout continued this season at this level, the Angels had a solid chance at a Wild Card berth when you consider Garrett Richards and Tyler Skaggs will both be back towards the end of the season. A late season push is still possible, with Trout most likely being back by the end of July. However, it will almost certainly be too late.
The Angels were most likely going to be neither sellers nor buyers at the deadline this year. They would have stuck with their guys, and hoped the late season comebacks from Richards and Skaggs would be enough. However, Trout’s injury changes things.
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Coming into the season, the Angels looked good. They had improved their bench depth and bullpen, and were looking to return to the playoffs. Now though, the season in Anaheim is all but over. The Angels should sell at the deadline, and reload for next season. The name who sticks out is Yunel Escobar. A hot name at the deadline last year, Escobar has been injured but was hot before he left. If he can return and play well until the deadline, a contending team would give a solid prospect for Escobar.
Bud Norris is another name that could get tossed around. He has been forced into the closer role with injuries to Cam Bedrosian and Huston Street. The 32-year old has witnessed a career revival, hurling his way to a 2.92 ERA and earning nine saves. With Cam Bedrosian the likely closer of the future, Norris could be swapped for a nice young arm.
Barring a miracle, the Angels will not contend this season. Fans will most likely see some Halo players swap jerseys at the deadline. However, if there is anyone who can guide the team to the playoffs, it is Trout. The Angels have also proven to have major heart this season, with a majority of their wins being of the comeback variety.
Who knows, we could be in for something special in Anaheim.