Mike Trout officially confirmed what has been looking more and more obvious for some weeks now — he won’t play again in the 2021 season. The decision was actually made a few weeks ago, Trout told MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger and other reporters, as Trout was never able to fully recover from the right calf strain that first sent him to the injured list back in May.
“My body wasn’t allowing it. It’s been a grind and it’s been tough for me….My mind and what I wanted was telling me one thing and my body was telling me something else,” Trout said. “I was feeling really good in workouts and then [the calf] would get sore on me. It’s been a tough September for me. If we were in the race, it might be different and maybe I could play through it. But it got to the point where I needed a rehab assignment and had two weeks left and just looking at the bigger picture, it was smarter to get it right and get ready for Spring Training.”
After suffering the injury on May 17, Trout was initially projected to miss six-to-eight weeks — a lengthy absence to be sure, but nothing that appeared to be season-threatening. On multiple occasions, Trout appeared to be on the verge of beginning a minor league rehab assignment, though as he noted, continued soreness in his calf prevented him from taking the field in a proper game environment.
In something of a bitter irony, Trout said his calf is “almost 100 percent, if not 100 percent” in the two weeks since he was shut down. He fully expects to be ready for Spring Training, and is “looking forward to having a healthy offseason. Keep that same routine.”
Since the Angels were also hampered by an injury-plagued year for Anthony Rendon, mediocre defense, and another year of subpar pitching, it’s hard to say whether or not a healthy Trout would have been enough to get Los Angeles into the postseason race. However, it’s safe to assume that the Angels would have more than just 73 wins with Trout providing his usual level of superstar production. Trout was hitting an absurd .333/.466/.624 with eight home runs over 146 plate appearances, and one can only imagine the offensive fireworks that could have been generated with a healthy Trout and Rendon joining MVP candidate Shohei Ohtani in the lineup.
Trout does expect big things from the Angels in both 2022 and in the coming offseason, noting that “We have a lot of money to spend. Hopefully we go out there, get some good guys. I trust Perry [GM Perry Minasian], I trust the top guys in this organization….I’m very confident with the group up there. They’re working hard every day. They’re trying to put a winning team on the field.”