Initially, the injury was supposed to keep him out for about six to eight weeks with a projected return in late July.
Mike Trout has the 3rd-highest fWAR on the Angels this season (2.3).
He has not played since May 17th. pic.twitter.com/gcrBeJkeRZ
— Danny Vietti (@DannyVietti) August 14, 2021
However, that has not been the case.
It was later found that Trout suffered a grade two calf tear, a troubling injury for the perennial All-Star.
In late June he told reporters that the calf was about 50 percent healed, with Trout beginning to take light swings off the tee.
Since then, it seems that the optimism has drifted.
The injury seems to be recovering slowly, extending the timetable on his return.
Now, there is no projected date that Angels fans will see Trout on the field in 2021.
In fact, there is reason to believe that the team may just shut him down for the rest of the season to avoid any more injury.
Here are three reasons the organization would be smart in not forcing him to return.
1. Playoffs Are A Longshot
As of today, the Angels sit eight and a half games out of the second Wild Card position.
There are three teams ahead of them, which does not bode well for their playoff hopes.
With the Yankees’ loss, the #RedSox maintain a two game lead for the second AL Wild Card spot.
The Blue Jays also jump into third in the AL East standings by a thousandth of a percentage point! pic.twitter.com/qUVgbA9R4e
— Mac Cerullo (@MacCerullo) August 13, 2021
Because of this, there may be no reason to bring Trout back this season, especially if he may not have any true impact on their playoff chances.
It is safe to assume that Trout is still a couple weeks away at the very least.
By that point, the Angels may have no reasonable chance at the postseason.
This would then allow them to shut Trout down and allow him to recover fully with no rushing.
While it would be disappointing to the fans that love watching him patrol center, it is likely the smartest decision the team could make at this point.
2. Trout Has Limited Baseball Activity
The most concerning part about Trout’s injury is that he has yet to resume baseball activities.
At 12 weeks since the injury, it is clear that he suffered something much more serious than previously shared.
— Bally Sports West (@BallySportWest) August 12, 2021
He has been able to lightly run and take on-field batting practice but has been limited beyond that.
This means that he would have to become reaccustomed to baseball activities before being able to return.
Along with that, he would likely need some rehab games before being brought back up.
This lengthens the timetable for his return and makes a comeback almost pointless.
3. The Trout Injury Opens Door
Coming into the season, Marsh was rated at the 38th best prospect in the minors.
However, the centerfielder has been blocked by Trout in the big leagues.
The injury has allowed the organization to call Marsh up and give him reps in the majors.
— Bally Sports West (@BallySportWest) August 8, 2021
While he has struggled so far, the experience is valuable as he looks to be an important part of the team’s success moving forward.
Him, Trout, and fellow outfielder Jo Adell will all likely form the team’s outfield in the coming years.
Shutting Trout down now would allow Marsh to continue getting at-bats and developing at the big-league level.
While it would be disappointing to not see the sport’s best player on the field for the rest of the 2021 season, it may actually be the smarter move for the Angels.