Mike Trout went and received a cryotherapy treatment for his sore right foot yesterday, and it appears he’ll miss a few more games.
With Mike Trout and the Angels lined up to miss the playoffs again, this isn’t about how much time Trout can miss until it starts hurting the team. Obviously you want the game’s best player on the field, but with the team out of contention Trout doesn’t need to come back until he’s fully ready.
However, there are a couple of reasons for Trout to come back ASAP. Aside from playing the game he loves (and makes millions upon millions to play), Trout is right in the thick of two huge storylines.
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First is his MVP campaign. All season long, once again, Trout has been the undeniable best player in the league. And no matter what Yankees shills will tell you, DJ LeMaheiu’s only chance of winning the American League MVP is of Trout, Alex Bregman, Xander Bogaerts, and Rafael Devers all miss the rest of the season.
In all realness though, Trout has this award locked up. I genuinely believe that the numbers he has put up at this point in the season are good enough to win him the MVP even if his next at bat isn’t until 2020. Bregman is probably Trout’s biggest “threat” and his WAR is nearly 1.5 less than Trout’s, per FanGraphs. In my opinion, and I think it’s a popular opinion at that, Trout has this locked up whether he plays another game or not.
The race Trout needs to come back for ASAP in order to win is the home run race. As of now, a good five or six players have a legitimate shot at leading the league in home runs. Pete Alonso leads the league with 47, followed by Trout with 45 and Christian Yelich, Cody Bellinger, and Eugenia Suarez with 44 dingers. Jorge Soler of the Royals also has an outside shot with 41 long balls.
Obviously the home run race doesn’t have any significance to Trout’s overall career, but a competitive guy like Trout surely wants to beat out his peers. For Trout to have a legitimate shot at leading the league in home runs for the first time in his career, I’d say he needs to be back by this weekend. He may be a few knocks behind Alonso at that point, but if he heats up like he did in July, Trout has a decent chance of winning the best home run race in years.
So, while the Angels may be out of the race for the postseason and Trout bas likely already locked up his third MVP award, there is still reason for the game’s best player to come back as soon as his foot allows.