He’s not feeling a ton of progression with that injury, and he may not want to risk his health to try to come back this season. If that’s what he’d be doing, I don’t really blame him.
If he does come back, however, somebody is going to have to head to the Minor Leagues. He’ll be retaking the place of an outfielder who has received more opportunity due to his absence. It’s a new outfield since Trout left, however, so unfortunately somebody who’s been there much longer than others is going to be the one to have to leave.
Juan Lagares will go down to Triple-A if Mike Trout returns for the LA Angels.
As of September 3rd, he’s hitting .242 with 30 RBI and 33 runs scored in 88 games. That comes with good defense, as the former Gold Glover has always been a quality defensive player.
The issue is who Lagares is going up against. When looking at the rest of the 40-man roster, the players who are currently at the big leagues with him and not on the IL are Justin Upton, Jo Adell, and Brandon Marsh.
Upton has too much potential and too much money invested in him to move off of him of course, despite having a down year this season. Adell and Marsh are too talented and are too good of prospects to not keep giving them chances and trying to help them grow for the rest of the year.
Lagares is a guy who can play multiple outfield positions, and has been in this league for a while. I think he can be an important piece for many clubs. The timing isn’t working out for him right now, though, if Mike Trout can return from his injury.