In devastating news for the Angels, superstar center fielder Mike Trout will miss six to eight weeks as a result of the right calf strain he suffered Monday, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports. The Angels have placed Trout on the 10-day injured list and recalled lefty Jose Quijada to take his spot on the roster for the time being.
It couldn’t get much worse than this for the Angels, who again haven’t been able to capitalize on Trout’s excellence this year. Already mired in a six-year playoff drought, the Angels are off to a subpar 18-22 start despite Trout’s best efforts. The 29-year-old future Hall of Famer has slashed .333./.466/.624 with eight home runs over 146 plate appearances, and he leads all qualified position players in wRC+ (199) and fWAR (2.5).
Unfortunately, this will go down as another injury-shortened year for Trout, who after averaging 158 games per season from 2013-16 averaged just 129 games from 2017-19. Trout also missed seven games in the shortened 2020 season, which amounts to roughly 12 percent of the season.
As a result of this news, baseball fans won’t have the privilege of watching Trout again until July or later, and his absence will obviously weaken the Angels’ lineup to a significant extent. There’s simply no realistic way to suitably replace Trout, the game’s preeminent player for several years. The Halos have used Scott Schebler and Juan Lagares in center when Trout hasn’t played this year, but they pale in comparison to the eight-time All-Star and three-time MVP.
The Angels do a pair of touted outfield prospects in Jo Adell and Brandon Marsh, either of whom could come up with Trout unavailable, though that’s unlikely to happen in the immediate future, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register tweets. Adell has fanned 21 times in 57 Triple-A plate appearances (36.8 percent), while Marsh has still only logged six total games in Triple-A to this point in his career. While he’s 6-for-22 with a trio of extra-base hits in that time, Marsh has punched out nine times in 29 plate appearances (31 percent), and it seems the Angels feel he could yet benefit from additional development time.