The Angels have announced that Mike Trout has been placed on the 10-day injured list due to left ribcage inflammation. They also announced the previously reported claim of infielder Phil Gosselin, and that outfielder Monte Harrison has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A Salt Lake.
At this point, there’s been no indication from the team as to how long they expect Trout to be out of action. He has missed some time recently due to back spasms, though the club avoided putting him on the IL until now. Perhaps they were waiting for the All-Star break, when the 10-day minimum absence would sting the least, though further word will surely come from the Angels in time.
Trout had been fairly healthy for the early portions of his career, playing in at least 114 games for the eight seasons from 2012 to 2019 and only coming in below 134 in one of those. He followed that up by getting into 53 of the club’s 60 games in the shortened 2020 season. Last year, however, he made it into only 36 contests, as a calf issue that didn’t initially seem serious eventually lingered and finished his season.
This year, he’s gotten into 79 of the club’s 92 games so far, already more than doubling his total from last year. He hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down in terms of overall production, hitting an excellent .270/.368/.599 for a 168 wRC+. He’s produced 3.8 wins above replacement already, according to FanGraphs.
Regardless of how much time he misses, it’s yet another disappointing setback in a season full of them for the Angels. Despite a hot start to the year wherein the club was 24-14 in mid-May, they’ve played at a miserable 15-39 pace since and are now 39-53 overall. The club is 10 1/2 games out of a playoff spot and seems more likely to sell than add at the deadline. Taking that into consideration, it makes sense to give Trout some time off to get healthy, rather than pushing him and potentially worsening the issue.
As for Harrison, he was signed to a minor league deal in the offseason after being released by the Marlins. Despite once being a highly-rated prospect, strikeout issues have kept him from living up to his athletic potential. Despite a 35% strikeout rate in the minors this year, he was selected to the big league for some bench/pinch running/defensive replacement duties. He played nine game but got just 14 plate appearances, striking out in eight of them, before being DFA’d. Having been previously outrighted in his career, he has the ability to reject the outright assignment and elect free agency, though it’s not yet clear which path he’s taken.