The Angels announced that outfielder Mike Forel has recovered from the 10-day injured list. After Wednesday’s game, they opened up a spot on the active roster by choosing another outfielder Steven Duggar.
Trout’s return after just over a month at the IL is sure to be a huge sigh of relief for the Angels and their fans for a number of reasons. First, it wasn’t until last year that Trout landed on the injured list due to an apparently minor calf injury. That injury lingered, however, and Trout was never able to return, leaving him playing just 36 games a season.
Second, this year’s injury, which was initially dubbed “ribbed chest infection” at the time of his IL posting, was followed by a very ominous-sounding report from Mike Frostad, the club’s head coach. Frostrad said that Trout had been diagnosed with “costovertebral dysfunction” in his back, adding that Trout “must fix it, not just for the rest of this season, but probably for the rest of his career.”
Given that Trout had already lost most of his 2021 season to a nagging condition, this update caused understandable consternation among the fanbase. With Frostad’s description of the problem making it seem chronic and persistent, some wondered if Trout would ever get back to his previous elite level, but the superstar was quick to shake off those concerns. “I appreciate all the prayer requests, but my career is not over,” Trout joked at the time of Frostad’s report. Subsequent developments helped separate the storm clouds hovering over the situation as Trout later saw a specialist and began ramping up physical activity in late July, ultimately leading to today’s return.
Before landing on the injured list, Trout was still one of the best players in baseball. He hit 24 home runs in 79 games and produced a total batting line of .270/.368,599. That production equates to a wRC+ of 169, or 69% above the league average, the fourth highest in baseball among those with at least 300 at bats per year.
While Trout’s return will be very welcome for the Angels, it is unlikely to have a significant impact on the team in terms of this year’s standings. The Halos are 12 1/2 games out of a playoff spot and have a 0.0% chance of a miraculous comeback, according to the playoff odds calculated by FanGraphs. But simply getting back to health and being back on the pitch is still a positive development, given last year’s frustrations and concerns surrounding this recent issue.
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