The Los Angeles Angels have just seven games left in their season, but Mike Trout will not be appearing in any of them.
Manager Phil Nevin announced on Sunday that the Angels have moved their longtime centerfielder to the 60-day injured list, ending his season and any late comeback attempt he might have been hoping to pull off.
With the exception of just a few days, Trout has been on the 10-day injured list since July 4, when it appeared he had simply and harmlessly fouled off a ball against the San Diego Padres, but had actually broken his hamate bone.
“I can’t describe the pain I felt,” Trout said later. “I never felt it before, ever, before this.”
Rough scene for the Angels in San Diego. Mike Trout leaves the game in the eighth inning after getting hurt on what looked like a routine foul ball. pic.twitter.com/rnAbVVj7NR
— The Comeback (@thecomeback) July 4, 2023
The hamate is a small bone in the wrist, and while it’s tiny, it impacts the strength of the hand and wrist — and therefore the power a hitter can generate while swinging. While Trout returned about 7 weeks after having surgery on his wrist, it can take months or sometimes up to a year for full strength (and a hitter’s power stroke) to return.
That July 4 game against the Padres ended up being Trout’s second-to-last of the season. After progressing through rehab, he returned on Aug. 22 and went 1-4 against the Cincinnati Reds. But just a few days later he was back on the injured list after feeling pain when he fouled off a pitch, and that’s where he’s been ever since.
The 32-year-old Trout played in just 82 games this season, his fewest since 2021 when he played in just 36 games due to a torn calf muscle. He hit .263/.367/.490 over those 82 games, his worst batting average and slugging percentage since his first season in 2011, when he was just 19. Despite that, Trout’s ability to get on base is still unrivaled. His on-base percentage of .367 is 47 points above the current league average of .320. He also drew 45 walks and was on pace for 90, which would have been his best mark since 2019 and still good enough to finish in the top 10 in 2023.
Trout’s move to the 60-day IL from the 10-day IL doesn’t appear to have been due to any issue with his hand. The Angels needed a spot on the 40-man roster for pitcher Carson Fulmer, which necessitated Trout’s shift to the long term IL. He’s expected to be healthy in time for spring training in 2024.