4:48 PM: The Angels are breathing a sigh of relief as X-rays on Trout’s hand have come back negative, per the team. He is being considered day-to-day for now.
3:15 PM: Mike Trout was removed from the Angels game today after being hit on the left hand by an 81 mph slider, per Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com (via Twitter). Jeff Fletcher of the SoCal News Group provides video of the hit-by-pitch here.
It’s too early to speculate about the severity of the injury, but it does not bode well that Trout had to come out of the game. Needless to say, it would be a devastating blow for the Angels to lose Trout for any significant amount of time this early in the season.
Trout, long considered the best player in baseball, missed most of last season with a calf strain that seemed to worsen the longer he was out. He ultimately played just 36 games, slashing .333/.466/.624 over 146 plate appearances, good for a robust 190 wRC+.
There’s fear enough that Trout might be slowing down now that he’s entered his thirties, and another extended absence would only exacerbate the concern. When healthy, the bottom-line numbers certainly haven’t suffered. The Angels, for their part, would have a difficult time making up for the loss of Trout, even with Brandon Marsh on the roster and capable of stepping in defensively. Offensively, there’s simply no replacing a talent like Trout. Hopefully, the injury turns out to be minor.