One month to the day after Mike Trout suffered a right calf strain, his injury rehab is “going good, I feel great,” the star outfielder said as part of an in-game interview during tonight’s Tigers/Angels game (hat tip to Brent Maguire). Trout is looking to “hopefully start some baseball activity in the next few days and go from there,” though he stressed that he is waiting to get the green light from doctors before going ahead with any sort of running drills.
Trout’s injury carried a rough timeline of 6-8 weeks, so if Trout is indeed almost on the verge of starting baseball activities after a month, that is a good sign that he might be back on the low end of that estimated absence.
Obviously the sooner Trout is able to return the better for the Angels, who took a 33-35 record into tonight’s contest with Detroit. A recent six-game winning streak gave the Halos a winning record for the first time since May 1, though three consecutive losses has brought them back under the .500 mark. Nine games back of the division lead and seven games back of the second AL wild card spot, Anaheim needs to make up at least some of that ground by the time Trout returns to have any chance at the postseason. If not, the Angels could be deadline sellers and staring at their seven consecutive season without any playoff baseball.
2021 was on pace to be perhaps Trout’s best season yet, considering that his 194 wRC+/OPS+ at the time of his injury represented a new career best. (In baseball history, the list of players with full seasons better than 194 wRC+ is not a long one.) Trout was hitting .333/.466/.624 with eight home runs over his first 146 plate appearances, and it’s fair to guess that the Angels would be a bigger factor in the AL West race if he had been healthy over the last month, though the Halos have been a respectable 15-13 since Trout hit the injured list.