May 31: The Angels announced today that Trout “underwent successful surgery to the ulnar collateral ligament of his left thumb as well as a repair of his dorsal capsule today.” The general timetable for his return is currently pegged at six to eight weeks, per the team.
May 29, 10:26pm: Trout will undergo surgery on Wednesday, the club announced. He is expected to miss approximately six to eight weeks.
6:33pm: The Angels will place superstar center fielder Mike Trout on the 10-day DL for the first time in his career, according to J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group (via Twitter). An MRI today revealed a torn ulnar collateral ligament in Trout’s left thumb, the team announced and Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times was among those to report (Twitter link).
Surgery is on the table at this point, though a decision has yet to be made. If the 25-year-old does end up going under the knife, he could be facing an extended absence for the first time in his already-storied career.
Los Angeles has selected the contract of veteran journeyman Eric Young Jr. to replace Trout on the roster. Young, who just turned 32, signed with the organization on a minor-league deal over the winter.
Injuries have hit the Angels rather hard through the first two months of the season, especially in the pitching staff, though the team has managed to hover around .500. That’s due in no small par to the otherworldly contributions of Trout, who entered today’s action with a ridiculous .337/.461/.742 batting line and a league-leading 16 home runs.
Trout had a less-than-sizzling start to his career upon a late-season call-up in 2011, his age-19 season, but has otherwise been utterly exceptional. He also has enjoyed more or less flawless health during his historic run since the start of 2012, playing in all but 45 of the Angels’ games until today.
Clearly, there’s no replacing Trout, but the Halos are set up about as well as could be hoped to weather an absence up the middle. Cameron Maybin and Ben Revere each have significant experience in center, and Young has spent a good bit of time there as well.
Young has seen action in each of the last eight MLB seasons, though he made it into only six games in 2016. While he has never hit much at the game’s highest level, Young is slashing a robust .354/.419/.528 with five home runs and 15 steals through 201 Triple-A plate appearances this year.