Through 47 games played this season, 25-year-old superstar Mike Trout was off to a great start in his quest towards his third American League MVP award.
Hitting .337 along with a sky-high .461 on-base percentage, Trout hit 16 home runs, knocked in 36 RBIs and also had 14 doubles and scored 36 runs for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
He was so locked in recently that teams were beginning to debate whether or not to pitch to him anymore.
However, all of his early-season success from an individual standpoint will now be halted.
After jamming his finger sliding into second on a stolen base attempt in Sunday’s game, Angels fans and MLB fans alike collectively held their breaths, fearing that the face of the sport would miss significant time as a result.
While the x-rays taken at the stadium were negative, an MRI done on Monday showed that Trout had a torn ligament in his thumb. As a result, the team announced that he will undergo surgery and will be out for between six and eight weeks as a result.
At the time of the injury, the team diagnosed the injury as a sprain and Trout didn't think it was very serious.
"A scary thing," Trout described the injury as after the game. “Hopefully it's just sore and just jammed, a bad jam. I'm obviously bummed out, but Monday if it feels a little better, we'll see how it goes.”
Manager Mike Scioscia also downplayed the injury, saying, ”The first indication is it just looks like a little sprain.”
Unfortunately, both the player and his manager were wrong.
This will be the first time that Trout will be placed on the disabled list. In each of the last four seasons, he impressively played in at least 157 games.
Cameron Maybin took over for Trout in center field on Monday while Eric Young Jr. was slotted to the lineup in the nine-hole as his player replacement. Ben Revere is also a Major League player who might be slotted into the lineup in the absence of Trout.
According to ESPN Stats & Info, losing Trout will have a significant quantifiable effect on the team’s offense, as you might imagine.
“Baseball-Reference.com has a run value stat to show how much a player’s bat is worth to his team. Trout entered Sunday ranked first on the Angels, 28 runs above average. Cameron Maybin ranks second at three runs above average. If Trout were significantly hurt, the Angels would join the Rangers as the only AL teams with one non-disabled player worth at least three batting runs.”
On Monday, the Angels lost to the Braves by the score of 6-3 and fell to 26-28 on the year. When Trout missed six games earlier this season due to a hamstring injury, Los Angeles went 2-4 and didn’t score over three runs more than once.
Falling two games under .500 and potentially without their superstar player for the next two months, times are tough in L.A. right now.
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