Angels’ emergency Mike Trout replacement immediately came up huge against Pirates

Even if it was just for one game, one of the newest Angels players made Trout's injury feel a little less worse.
Los Angeles Angels v Pittsburgh Pirates
Los Angeles Angels v Pittsburgh Pirates / Joe Sargent/GettyImages

When the Los Angeles Angels lost Mike Trout to a knee injury, there was no realistic way to replace him completely. When he is on the field, he is one of the best players in baseball and definitely the Angels' best hitter. With these sorts of high-profile injuries, it is about surviving their absence instead of hoping to Wally Pipp him.

Still, the Angels couldn't just sit around down an outfielder while Trout heals from meniscus surgery and they decided to go out and sign Kevin Pillar, who had been DFAed by the White Sox after they signed Tommy Pham. Pillar has bounced around the league in recent years, but is known as a very capable outfield defender who also has a bit of pop at the plate. Obviously not a perfect solution, but LA was fortunate that he was even available.

Fast forward to Tuesday's game against the Pirates. The Angels needed a win as the Pirates are a team that they should beat in need of making some headway to turn their season around. Win the Angels did, and in convincing fashion. And a big reason why was because Pillar hit two homers and drove in six runs.

Kevin Pillar's huge game helps soften blow of Angels losing Mike Trout

Let's start with one very important thing: Pillar is highly unlikely to keep up his current pace and even maintain a roster spot with Trout out. Still, if you are going to sign a guy at the last minute because your best player got hurt, these sorts of performances from them are absolutely delightful.

And how about a little Wednesday action? Though Pillar struck out three times, he logged a hit and a run scored, which proved crucial in the Angels' 5-4 victory.

Assuming Pillar does come back to earth, that doesn't mean that his presence on the Angels' roster won't have benefits. Manager Ron Washington is quite familiar with Pillar from his days with the Braves, and having a grizzled veteran who knows what it takes to win and how to prepare properly with as many young guys that the Angels have in the big leagues right now.

That said, Angels fans probably won't complain if Pillar continues his path of destruction while they wait for Trout to get healthy again, and certainly have to feel good about having Pillar around just in case another injury in the outfield pops up.

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