It hasn’t been a banner end to the season for the Angels. The team currently sits with a 67-82 record and are in fourth place in the AL West above just the Seattle Mariners. While the culprit has largely been a pitching staff that ranks among the league’s worst, it has not helped that Shohei Ohtani not only has not been on the mound at all due to his recovery from Tommy John surgery and he then went on the shelf for the rest of the season to repair a congenital defect in his left knee. Combine that with Tommy La Stella breaking his leg, ending what was a breakout season for him, and the Angels have been short on good news of late.
The one bright spot has that Mike Trout has continued to be pretty much the best baseball player on the planet. In 134 games this season, he has slashed .291/.438/.645 with 45 home runs. Going into the final few weeks of the season, Trout was (and honestly probably still is) the prohibitive favorite to win the American League MVP trophy. Unfortunately, his season came to a premature end today.
Angels General Manager Billy Eppler released the following statement today regarding Angels OF Mike Trout. pic.twitter.com/7OjYg7XmmV— Los Angeles Angels (@Angels) September 15, 2019
Trout has been dealing with issues with his foot stemming from a Morton’s neuroma, a thickening of the tissues around one of the nerve’s that lead to one’s toes. It is a painful condition that ranges from feeling like you are constantly standing on a pebble to sharp and burning pain in your foot/toes.
With the Angels not in playoff contention whatsoever, the timing on the surgery makes a lot of sense as it gives Trout more time to recover from the procedure to fix the issue and be ready to go for the 2020 season. In a closer MVP race, his injury could have significantly altered the landscape of that race. However, Trout has been significantly better than his competitors this season and barring an unforeseen run from guys a lower on the leaderboard, he should still be considered the heavy favorite.