ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout is officially shut down for the season.
The three-time AL MVP suffered a calf strain on May 17 and hasn’t returned to the lineup since. The original prognosis was six to eight weeks of rehabilitation, but the injury was worse than originally thought.
Trout was trying to get back this season, but recently made the decision that he was done this year.
The 30-year-old outfielder said he’s healthy and should have a normal offseason in New Jersey.
“It’s been tough for me, but now looking back and learning from everything, this was the biggest injury of my career,” Trout said.
“It came down to we were trying everything the last month and a half to get back out there. My calf and my body weren’t cooperating. It was frustrating. I took a week, 2 1/2 weeks off and I feel almost 100%.”
Trout hit .333 with eight home runs, 18 RBIs and a 1.090 OPS in 36 games this season.
Many times Trout believed he was ready to head out on a rehab assignment, then that plan would be derailed. Tests have come back clean.
“The smarter thing is to have a full, healthy offseason,” Trout said. “Once I told myself that, because late August, early September it was hard for me. Seeing my teammates going out there and working hard and not being able to contribute. It was probably one of the toughest moments of my career.”
“I made the decision a short time ago to shut it down and kind of relieve me a little bit. I was putting so much pressure on myself to get out there. Now, I’m in a good place and I’m looking forward to a healthy offseason.”
Trout is itching to help get his team back to the postseason.
The Angels haven’t made the playoffs since 2014, when they got swept by the Kansas City Royals in the AL Division Series. That was the only year Trout reached the playoffs in his big league career.
Manager Joe Maddon recently was outspoken about the need for a couple of top-of-the-line starters. Los Angeles is one loss away from its sixth straight below-.500 season.
“This offseason is going to be big. Obviously, we’ve got a lot of money to spend,” Trout said. “Hopefully we’ll go out there and get some good guys. I trust Perry (general manager Minasian) and trust the top guys in this organization. We talk every day. Obviously, Skip (Joe Maddon) has put his word out there what he thinks we need to go in the right direction. I’m very confident in the group up there. They’re working hard everyday. I see it. We all see it every day. They’re trying to put a winning team on the field.”
Injuries have cut short the season of not only Trout but Anthony Rendon and Justin Upton. At the same time, Shohei Ohtani is having an incredible season, and Trout has enjoyed having a front-row seat in the dugout to watch.
“He’s the MVP, I think. Truly an amazing talent,” Trout said. “What Vladddy (Toronto star Guerrero Jr.) is doing is unbelievable as well. He’s in the race. His numbers are maybe a little bit better than Ohtani’s, but then again you look at Vladdy’s pitching. I don’t think I’ve seen Vladdy pitch all year.”
“It’s a tough case to argue because Vladdy has a chance to win the Triple Crown. What Shohei is doing this year is remarkable and he’s playing everyday. It’s truly fun to watch,” he said.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports