Tagged in: mike trout

Mike Trout dealing with ‘pretty rare’ back condition, but Los Angeles Angels star says it’s manageable, plans to return this season

Mike Trout stated he appreciated all the support he received Wednesday after the Los Angeles Angels’ head athletic trainer revealed the three-time American League MVP had a “rare” spinal condition that could affect him for the rest of his career.

Even if Trout thought the whole thing was blown out of proportion.

“I think he meant that I have to stay on top of the routine I do on a daily basis to keep it from coming back,” Trout said after watching his Angels beat the Kansas City Royals 4-0 to clinch their first series victory in nearly a month.

“I’m appreciative of all the prayer requests, but my career is not over.”

The 10-time All-Star left a game versus Houston on July 12 with what was first called back spasms, then went on the injured list a week later with what was called rib cage inflammation.

On Wednesday, Angels athletic trainer Mike Forstad revealed it to be a rare spinal condition.

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“This is a pretty rare condition that he has right now in his back,” Frostad said. “The doctor (Robert Watkins III), who is one of the most well-known spine surgeons in the country — if not the world — doesn’t see a lot of these.

“And for it to happen in a baseball player — we just have to take into consideration what he puts himself through with hitting, swinging on a daily basis just to get prepared, and then also playing in the outfield, diving for balls, jumping into the wall — things like that. There’s so many things that can aggravate it. But this doctor hasn’t seen a lot of it.”

Trout smiled when thinking about the absurdity of the overreactions he’d been seeing online after Frostad’s comments.

“I got back and my phone was blowing up: ‘My career is over,'” he said. “It’s just rare for a baseball player. I just have to stay on top of it.”

Trout received a cortisone injection last week that has already begun to produce results. He has a follow-up visit next week and “we’ll go from there,” he said, though he has every intention of being back this year.

“Of course,” he said. “That’s my goal.”

The Angels have had no discussions about shutting him down.

“I don’t think we’re at a point where we’re going to make that decision,” Frostad said. “He’s going to have a follow-up here once we get back and we’ll just kind of see what the doctor thinks at that point.”

Trout, the second-highest-paid player in the game at $37.1 million, had been enjoying a nice bounce-back season after a calf injury limited him to just 36 matches last season.

He was hitting .270 with 24 homers and 51 RBIs through 79 games, a rare bright spot in what has been a dismal season for the Angels. “He’s been a great teammate,” Angels interim manager Phil Nevin said.

“He’s been [in] the dugout, helping out his teammate — he’s obviously a good sounding board for a lot of young players. For them to have him here and know that he’s supporting them is huge, I’m sure, for some younger guys.”

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Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout placed on 10-day IL with left rib cage inflammation

Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout was placed on the 10-day injured list Monday with left rib cage inflammation, the team stated.

Scratched from the Angels’ lineup moments before the start of Saturday night’s 7-1 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers, their final game before the All-Star break, Trout has missed the last four games with back spasms, and on Sunday, he elected not to participate in Tuesday’s All-Star Game in Los Angeles.

“It’s just one of the things that’s got to get right before I start swinging,” Trout said. “It is frustrating for sure. I can’t really pinpoint what caused it. It just started to bother me.”

Trout was in the Angels’ posted pregame lineup as the center fielder but was removed about three minutes before the first pitch.

Trout said afterward that his back felt wrong while swinging in the cage before the match.

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Originally scheduled to start in the outfield Tuesday for the American League, Trout is batting .270 with 24 homers and 51 RBIs in 79 games this season, although he has just one multihit game and six total RBIs in the past three weeks.

His transaction was one of several roster moves from the Angels, who claimed infielder Phil Gosselin off waivers from the Atlanta Braves and outrighted outfielder Monte Harrison to Triple-A Salt Lake after he cleared waivers.

Later in the day, the Angels announced on social media that Trout was named captain for Team USA in next year’s World Baseball Classic.

“It means a lot. I missed an opportunity the first time and I knew this was one I couldn’t miss,” Trout said. “I’ll be able to ramp it up a little bit quicker. I’m looking forward to playing for our country.”

The Angels, who return to action on Friday versus the Braves, entered the break at 39-53, 20 1/2 games behind the Houston Astros in the AL West.

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Framber Valdez, Houston Astros author ‘special’ day, striking out 20 in win over Los Angeles Angels

Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout finished 0-for-11 with nine strikeouts in a three-game series and Los Angeles hitters fanned 20 times, equaling a major league record, as the Houston Astros won 4-2 for a sweep on Sunday.

Rookie Jeremy Pena homered twice, capped by a two-run drive with two outs in the ninth inning off Ryan Tepera (1-2) to win it.

“To do it on a walk-off, it’s unreal,” Pena said. “It’s always fun walking it off, you get the win … and it’s great.”

Trout struck out seven consecutive times in the first two games. In the finale, the three-time AL MVP reached base in his first at-bat on an error by Pena at shortstop before striking out looking in his next two plate appearances.

Trout popped out in his last at-bat to extend his skid to 0-for-14. He is having another strong campaign, batting .272 with 23 homers and 47 RBIs, despite his second long slump of the year — he was a career-worst 0-for-26 before ending that drought on June 6.

Trout was far from the only Angel to struggle at the plate as Houston starter Framber Valdez and three relievers tied the major league record for strikeouts in a nine-inning game. Twelve different Angels batters came to the plate and all of them struck out at least once.

Valdez struck out a career-high 13 in six innings, allowing two runs on three hits and five walks. Relievers Hector Neris and Rafael Montero each struck out two in scoreless innings and Ryan Pressly (2-2) fanned three in the ninth.

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“It’s something that is very emotional and very exciting for me,” Valdez said through a translator after the game. “It’s very special to be a part of that.”

Astros manager Dusty Baker concurred.

“It’s very impressive. He was throwing strikes,” Baker said referring to Valdez, and when asked about the team total of 20, he simply replied, “Boy, that’s a lot.”

The 20 strikeouts is the most in a nine-inning game in Astros franchise history, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. There had been several occasions where other teams struck out 20, including performances by Max Scherzer, Roger Clemens and Kerry Wood.

The Astros’ previous record was 18 in 1964 versus Cincinnati.

Houston pitchers fanned 47 in the series against the Angels.

Pena had four hits. In the ninth, Jose Altuve singled with two outs and Pena followed with his 11th home run. Pena hit a solo home run in the fourth off Jose Suarez.

Luis Rengifo homered in the Angels second. Shohei Ohtani hit an RBI single in the third.

Altuve had an RBI single in the fifth that made it 2-all.

Catching coach Bill Haselman was the Angels’ acting interim manager Sunday while Ray Montgomery, who has been the acting interim manager, and interim manager Phil Nevin served their suspensions for last week’s bench-clearing brawl with the Mariners. Haselman will also manage Tuesday’s game while Montgomery serves the second game of his suspension.

“They just have a lot of good arms out there,” Haselman said. “They have a lot of good pitchers in the bullpen, and they were able to just beat us today.”

Sunday was the sixth match of Nevin’s 10-game suspension. His seventh won’t come till Tuesday, when Noah Syndergaard (5-6, 3.86 ERA) opposes Sandy Alcantara (8-3, 1.96) in the opener of a three-game series vs. the Miami Marlins.

The Marlins are not a traditional opponent of the Angels, so there’s not a ton of history there, but Trout is 0-for-2 this season vs. Miami with two walks and two runs scored. “Mike Trout is a future Hall of Famer. He’s going to come around,” Haselman said.

“It’s too long of a season never to have struggles. Everybody goes through it, even the best in the game. He’s going through it right now, and we’re confident he’ll get out of it.”

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Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout doesn’t have timetable for return

Mike Trout says his right calf is starting to feel better, but the Los Angeles Angels superstar still doesn’t know when he will be able to return.

The time-time AL MVP went on the injured list on May 18 after straining his calf the night before versus the Cleveland Indians. The Angels said at the time that Trout would miss six to eight weeks, which would sideline him through the All-Star break.

“Today was probably my best day yet, just tolerance-wise. As far as activities, I’m doing as much as I can to strengthen around the calf muscle,” Trout said before Monday’s game versus the Kansas City Royals.

Trout said he would like to start jogging soon but doesn’t have a timetable on when he would be able to do that, much less resume baseball activities. He said he is walking on a treadmill but not with any intensity.

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“I’m happy with my progress so far. It has been good the last couple of days,” he said. “I should have a better idea on a return date once I start moving around, as in jogging and running.”

At the time of his injury, Trout was leading the majors in on-base percentage (.466) and OPS (1.090), with eight home runs and 18 RBI. His .425 batting average in April was the best of his 11-year career.

Juan Lagares has started in center field in 16 of the 19 games that Trout has missed, with Taylor Ward starting the other three.

Lagares and Ward have combined to go 13 of 70 with no homers and seven RBI in games they have started in center.

Los Angeles is 9-10 since Trout went on the IL. It went into Monday’s game trailing Oakland by seven games in the AL West.

Trout said during home games he usually watches the first couple innings from the dugout before going into the clubhouse to continue his rehab. He also continues to attend hitter’s meetings.

“It seems like there are games where we score a bunch of runs and then the next game it is pretty quiet,” he said. “It’s tough being on the bench. You know, there’s only so much you can do and you want to be out there.”

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Ohtani wins for Angels in 2-way start like none since Ruth

Shohei Ohtani struck out nine after a shaky first inning on the mound, and also scored three runs and drove in two in a start like none since Babe Ruth 100 years earlier, as the Los Angeles Angels defeated the Texas Rangers 9-4 on Monday night.

A day after hitting his seventh homer to tie for the MLB lead, Ohtani (1-0) became the first home run leader to be the starting pitcher for a game since Ruth for the New York Yankees versus Detroit on June 13, 1921. It was the second time this season Ohtani pitched and batted second.

The Japanese right-hander gave up four runs in the first inning before retiring 14 of the last 15 batters he faced, with all of his strikeouts in that span.

After drawing a one-out walk and scoring on Jared Walsh’s single in the Angels first for a 1-0 lead, Ohtani threw 28 pitches in the bottom of that inning, included four walks, a hit batsman and a wild pitch. But the game was tied at 4 in the second after Ohtani hit a two-run double and scored on a single by Mike Trout.

Justin Upton and Albert Pujols put the Angels ahead to stay with back-to-back homers to start the third off Texas starter Jordan Lyles (1-2), who allowed seven runs and 10 hits in 2 2/3 innings. José Iglesias later went deep off Hyeon-Jong Yang, the lefty from South Korea making his big league debut.

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Trout also had an RBI double among his four hits in his return to the lineup to raise his average to .426.

He had missed three games over the weekend in Houston because of a bruised left elbow after getting hit by a pitch in the series opener versus the Astros on Thursday.

Texas went ahead on Nate Lowe’s sixth homer, a three-run shot that gave him an MLB best-matching 21 RBI. David Dahl’s sacrifice fly made it 4-1, the first of the final 15 batters Ohtani faced in his five innings.

In his previous start on the mound, last Tuesday at home versus the Rangers, Ohtani became the first starting pitcher since at least 1901 with four scoreless innings with at least six walks and seven strikeouts. He allowed only one hit in the Angels’ 6-2 victory.

That was his first time on the mound since April 4 after dealing with a blister issue on the middle finger of his throwing hand.

In that first start, Ohtani both smashed a 451-foot homer and pitched two-hit ball into the fifth inning against the Chicago White Sox.

Only seven of his first 23 pitches in Texas were strikes before Ohtani settled in, needing only 47 pitches to get through the his final four innings. He got one last at-bat in the sixth, with a bunt single away from the shift before scoring on a double by Walsh. 

Aaron Slegers then took over on the mound and in the batting order, though he didn’t get an at-bat.

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