Is Mike Trout’s fate with Angels what Joey Votto went through with Reds?

Mike Trout has never tasted success in the playoffs. Joey Votto knows the feeling.
Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout (27) looks on
Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout (27) looks on / Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

With his free agency still in limbo, it seems safe to state conclusively that Joey Votto spent 17 years with the Cincinnati Reds. Votto was a second-round draft pick of the Reds back in 2002, made his major league debut in 2007, and became a fixture within the organization for nearly two decades.

Votto won the NL MVP in 2010, went to six All-Star Games, has one Gold Glove to his credit, led the league in on-base percentage seven times while with the Reds, and is widely viewed as a future Hall of Famer. But for all his accolades, Votto has just four postseason appearances and never won a playoff series. Sound like someone you know, Angels fans?

Mike Trout knows all too well the failures of franchise that has seen just one postseason appearance in his 13 big league seasons. While Trout's trophy shelf is a bit more decorated than Votto's, the same fate may befall the three-time MVP.

Is Mike Trout’s fate with LA Angels what Joey Votto went through with Reds?

As Trout and the Los Angeles Angels ready for another season in Anaheim, the 11-time All-Star will be without his MVP-caliber running mate in 2024. Shohei Ohtani headed off to the Los Angeles Dodgers this offseason, and the Halos have made little to no improvements to this year's roster.

After going all-in last year with the midseason additions of C.J. Cron, Randal Grichuk, Lucas Giolito, and Reynaldo Lopez, Los Angeles was attempting to make a postseason push with two of the biggest stars in baseball. The gamble didn't pay off, and six weeks later Giolito, Lopez, Hunter Renfroe, Matt Moore, and Dominic Leone were all waived.

The Angels finished the year 73-89, and on the outside of the playoff picture once again. The last time the Halos went to the postseason was 2014, and a then-22-year-old Trout hit just .083/.267/.333 while the Angels were promptly swept out of the ALDS by the Kansas City Royals.

Joey Votto never had postseason success

Outside of the farce that was the abbreviated 2020 MLB Postseason, in which the Cincinnati Reds put up no runs in a two games against the Atlanta Braves, Joey Votto hasn't been to the playoffs since his club was ousted by the Pittsburgh Pirates during the Wild Card Game in 2013.

Votto has just three playoff appearances, all of which ended without the Reds advancing. Votto has more strikeouts (12) than hits (10) in his playoff career. Some Reds fans will tell you that Cincinnati wasted a generational talent and the franchise has zero postseason success to show for Votto's 17 years in Cincinnati.

Unfortunately, it would seem that Mike Trout is trending in the exact same direction. With perennial playoff contenders like the Houston Astros already in the AL West, the Angels face an uphill climb just trying to win the division. Throw in the reigning World Series champion Texas Rangers and the ever-improving Seattle Mariners, and it looks as though LA is ticketed for another fourth-place finish in the AL West.

But all hope is not lost, Angels fans. During Votto's final season in Cincinnati, the Reds were able to right the ship with a gritty, young, talented group who pushed their way into the playoff conversation.

Perhaps the Angels can take a page out of the Reds' playbook and look to craft a similar roster in the future. Rather than signing high-dollar free agents, Perry Minasian may want to begin rebuilding the Los Angeles Angels from the inside out. That may not be the popular approach, but it might be past due.