Fear struck all LA Angels fans on Tuesday night, when Mike Trout was taken out of the game in the fourth inning. While no major injury, just a strained groin, was present, it raises the question. Could the team survive a Trout absence?
The LA Angels still completed the sweep against the Milwaukee Brewers, winning both the game Mike Trout departed early and the next day without him completely. However, going into their weekend series against the Cubs, there is some uncertainty in regards to Trout’s availability.
Trout did say he would be playing if the games were more important or if it was a late-season race for the postseason. He also mentioned that after a day of treatment, he was already feeling “a lot better” and was hoping to play on Friday. However, due to the impending cold weather of Chicago, Trout could sit if he still isn’t 100%.
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This doesn’t seem like it will be a long-term thing, in fact, that is exactly what Trout is hoping to avoid. However, what will this Angels lineup look like without their superstar? And will they be able to remain competitive?
To answer that first question, we saw somewhat of an answer on Wednesday night. Brian Goodwin was moved to center field with David Fletcher taking over in left. Fletcher’s versatility is coming in handy, as the Angels would have had to start Peter Bourjos (.048 batting average) if Fletcher was unable to handle outfield duties.
The more complicated question is whether or not they could survive without him. While beating the Brewers was a strong feat, the team still only mustered four runs, and Tommy La Stella can’t hit home runs every night (I think). With Trout, the Angels have a .217 team batting average. Without him, that average drops to .201. While the team would rank 12th in the American League either way, they would drop much closer to the lowest tier of offenses in the MLB.
Trout is the best hitter in baseball, and losing him would likely crater the entire Angels’ offense. Averaging four runs a game right now, it isn’t crazy to think they’d be averaging less than three without Trout’s early season MVP campaign.
If he is going to miss the series in Chicago, it will likely be a series loss for the Angels, and if he misses time afterwards, this hot streak from the Angels could quickly turn into an equally cold streak.