It was later deemed as a grade 2 calf strain by the Angels.
Specialists say that injury usually takes about six weeks for a player to leave it behind, so Trout should have returned at some point in July.
That month came along and there were very little news about his prognosis and potential return date.
As the calendar turned to August, it was evident that the Angels weren’t going to be in contention for a playoff spot, in large part thanks to Trout’s extended absence.
An Obvious Shutdown
It’s not easy to replace a guy with a career .305/.419/.583 line and a 1.002 OPS, no matter how many Ohtanis you have.
Right now, the Angels are completely out of the race for a spot in the playoffs, at 71-74 and 10.5 games behind the three teams tied for two Wild Card spots: the Toronto Blue Jays, Boston Red Sox, and New York Yankees.
They are even further out in their division, the American League West, 14 games behind the Houston Astros.
Angels manager Joe Maddon told the media that it is unlikely Trout plays another game this year.
It’s still not official, as you can see by the use of the word “unlikely”, but we can go ahead and not expect the slugger back in 2021.
Given the Angels’ position in the standings, this should have been done already.
It makes absolutely no sense for him to return at this point.
The outfielder, per reports, is traveling with the team in Chicago and still doing semi-daily workouts.
If he indeed doesn’t return this year, Trout would leave behind a .333/.466/.624 slash line over 146 plate appearances.
At one point recently, the Angels conceded that Trout’s calf strain was pretty severe.
Do We Know All The Truth?
However, hopefully some day they will explain how a grade 2 calf strain, an injury that usually takes between six and eight weeks of recovery, took so slow to heal.
I WOULD LOVE to know what happened with @Angels Mike Trout this year???
You don’t miss 80% of the season (since mid-May) with a CALF STRAIN.
Get the @LAAngelsPR on the horn, this is ridiculous. There are products & techniques that would have had him back in 6 weeks….sad
— Jesse Morse, MD (@DrJesseMorse) September 15, 2021
Until we get some more clarity, we are left wondering what could have happened and what will happen from now on.
What could have happened if Trout wouldn’t have injured his calf?
Hard to say, but it’s possible Los Angeles would be at least three or four games out of a Wild Card spot, still with chances.
What will happen from now on?
Trout will likely shift his focus to a pivotal 2022 campaign for the franchise.
The Angels have gained notoriety around the league for failing to put together a competitive team for Trout to make a run at the playoffs.
Trout has been a regular major leaguer since 2012 and has only made it to the postseason once, in 2014, with a first-round exit.
It’s preposterous that arguably a top 10 all-time player has played only a handful of October games, and it really says much more about the organization than it says about him.
Baseball needs Trout (and Shohei Ohtani, for that matter) in the playoffs, on the biggest of stages.
If Angels fans aren’t going to put pressure on this organization, then the media needs to. It would be good for fans and even better for baseball writers if Trout and Ohtani got to the playoffs together.
— BigBillsBaseball (@BigBillsBSB) September 12, 2021
Sadly, 2021 won’t be the year in which we enjoy them in the postseason.