Frustrating times for Millville’s Mike Trout

by Marc Narducci | Sep 6, 2023
Frustrating times for Millville’s Mike Trout
Last Monday the Los Angeles Angels opened a three-game series with the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.  Usually New Jersey native Mike Trout takes this time to celebrate coming home.

Trout, as any South Jersey sports fan knows, was a standout at Millville before becoming among the biggest stars in Major League Baseball. 

When the Angels come to Philadelphia, which doesn’t happen often, Trout has usually had a press conference talking to the media about the first game of the series. This series, the Angels’ media relations people delivered the news that the press conference wouldn’t happen.

One could almost understand Trout’s reluctance. After all, what is there left for him to say?

While his career has enjoyed a Hall of Fame path, there has been extreme disappointment with what the Angels have been able to achieve. This is yet another year the Angels won’t be participating in the postseason.

They have only been to the playoffs once during Trout’s tenure and that came in 2014. That season the Angels were swept 3-games-to-none in the American League Division series by the Kansas City Royals.

Trout was 1-for-12 in that series with a solo home run being the lone hit.

This year Trout was having his worst statistical season when he broke the hamate bone in his left hand after being hit by a pitch. He missed 38 games and returned for one before recognizing the hand was still sore, and ending back on the injured list. 

He was with the team in Philadelphia, but obviously didn’t feel like a conquering hero upon his return home.

This year Trout is hitting .263/.367/.490—a slash line that most MLB players would take in a heartbeat—yet it is the worst full-season slash line in Trout’s career. 

His career numbers: .301/.412/582.

Regardless of how the rest of his career goes, Trout has already done enough to ensure enshrinement in Cooperstown, but he has to be frustrated to be with an Angeles franchise that has been hit by some awful bad luck. 

It was recently announced that fellow franchise icon Shohei Ohtani has suffered a UCL injury, which often leads to Tommy John surgery. In addition, Ohtani is a free agent after this season, and few are giving the Angels a chance to re-sign him. After this season’s collapse, the Angels placed several veterans on waivers. 

The franchise is a mess and Trout, according to spotrac.com, is signed for seven more seasons, averaging $37 million per season. 

Trout is now 32 and has had a recent injury history, having appeared in 36 games in 2021; 119 last year (while still hitting 40 home runs) and now 82 this season. 

Will the Angels try to trade him and do a total rebuild? More appropriately, will there be teams wanting to take on that contract even if the Angels do want to trade him?

Nobody is going to feel sorry for somebody who will earn the type of money Trout will over these next seven years, but it has to be the most frustrating of situations. 

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Author: Marc Narducci

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