Angels outfielder Mike Trout is perennially in the discussion as the best player in Major League Baseball and always in the American League MVP race at the end of the season. This season has been no exception in the first couple months … until Trout did something that he had never done before — go on the disabled list.
Trout injured his thumb when he slid into second base during a game Memorial Day weekend. He has surgery to repair the torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb. The surgery was successful, but the injury is expected to keep Trout out of action for up to eight weeks.
The injury is a major blow to the Angels, who are looking to stay around the .500 mark and remain in the race for a playoff spot, either in the AL West or — more likely — in the AL Wild Card race. In Trout’s absence, outfielders Eric Young Jr. and Ben Revere are expected to see the bulk of the playing time in left field for the team. Neither player can come close to even matching the production that the team expects to get from Trout.
At the time of the injury, Trout was leading all American League players in All-Star Game voting. The two-time AL MVP was hitting a career-best .337 with 16 home runs and 36 RBI — putting him on pace to set new career highs in those categories — at the time of the injury that resulted in his first-ever disabled list stint, something that he had avoided for 858 career games over the first six-plus seasons of his spectacular career.