O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Mike Trout has been looking extremely off as of late, more off than he has in any of his other slumps throughout the season. He’s late on meaty fastball, everything he hits seems to be popped up, and his strikeouts in critical situations are becoming far too frequent to not notice. In his last 6 games he’s hit just .118 with 1 HR and 3 RBI. There seems to be something off about Trout and everyone is talking about it. Is it health? Is he exhausted from the long season? Is it the stress from such an emotionally draining season?
I don’t like to make inferences into how players are feeling too often, but it really does seem as if Trout is just mentally worn out at this point in the year. The team has no chance to compete and each game sees them battered time and time again by some of the worst teams in baseball. Trout is making errors in the outfield and dropping routine fly balls after having a long stretch of clean OF play. I wouldn’t say he’s “given up” on the team or any of that, but it does seem like he’s at the end of his rope. It’s been a very difficult year, he’s had to say goodbye to two of his closest friends as they passed away far too young (Aaron Cox and Tyler Skaggs) and on top of that he’s had another somewhat promising season blow up in his face.
If that is truly the case I can’t say that I blame him. One person can only go through so much, and while Trout is accustomed to carrying his team on his back he’s never had to do so under the emotional pressure he is under now. Any normal man would become half-broken by the things Trout has gone through this season, and it’s a credit to his leadership and determination that he is grinding out this season. But at this point it would be best for the teams season to end as soon as possible and let the guy get some rest. I know that isn’t the most productive or appealing take to have, but the Angels are struggling to survive and regardless of playoffs or not there is a very real light at the end of the tunnel.
That light being the Angels finally being able to move past this season and all the emotional struggles that have come with 2019. Mike Trout still has the MVP to play for, which is very much worth playing for, but at this point the dude just needs a break. Not just from baseball, but from life for a little bit. It’s been a heavy 2019 and our Angels need nothing more than to decompress and move forward emotionally.