Joe Maddon told reporters that Mike Trout may no longer start in center field for the LA Angels on Sunday. This was a move that was rumored last year when Trout was seeking to come back from injury, but largely forgotten about this offseason by many.
It was forgotten because lots only expected that move to only be in play so the Halos could make sure Trout didn't get hurt again in the same season. Many didn't expect that to happen after Trout and the Angels opted to sit him out for the end of the season after he was good to come back so they could make sure he'd be healthy for the next full season.
The LA Angels should not move Mike Trout away from center field.
Mike Trout needs to be playing his natural position for the LA Angels. Sure, playing right field will still put Trout in position to use his cannon and could potentially help him stay healthy, but in order to get the most out of a franchise player, a team needs to put him in his best and most comfortable position possible.
While I love Brandon Marsh's defense, there's only one Trout. Trout has had one serious injury--it's not time to overreact. Trout seems to agree, as he had a long talk with Joe Maddon and Perry Minasian about Maddon's comments. Angels beat writer Sam Blum from The Athletic posted what he had to say:
This is the correct way to go about this, and sure enough, he quickly changed Maddon's mind. Quickly after Trout spoke about the center field situation, Maddon announced that he will indeed be the starting center fielder for the Angels this season:
This was the right move. The Angels need to be in win now mode, and can't be worrying about future injuries if it's going to keep Trout from playing his natural position while he is still indeed right in the thick of his prime. Playing center field is not the reason Trout was injured.
Keeping Trout in the spot where he can perform to the best of his abilities is one of the most important things this franchise can focus on right now. Every MVP Trout has won, he has been in center field. Let's keep the trend going.