Barely hanging on in the race for the final wildcard spot in the American League, the Angels were hit with back-to-back injuries to their two biggest stars that have the potential to derail the franchise this season and beyond. Though he said he anticipates returning this season from a broken wrist he suffered Monday night when he fouled off a pitch, All-Star outfielder Mike Trout is currently on the 10-day injured list, and it’s unclear when he’ll be able to get back on the baseball diamond. “I kind of knew it wasn’t good. It’s another freak thing,” Trout said. “It’s nothing crazy serious, so obviously I’m going to miss a little bit of time, but it’s not season-ending.”
A three-time AL MVP, Trout was not having a monster season by his standards (.263 average with 18 home runs and 44 RBI), but losing him is a huge blow to a Los Angeles club that needs every single win it can get in pursuit of a playoff spot. Losers of two in a row and seven of their last 10 games, the Angels are hoping to make it to the postseason for the first time since 2014.
Shohei Ohtani Follows Babe Ruth Into an Exclusive MLB ClubOhtani joined Ruth as the second player with 500 strikeouts as a pitcher and 100 homers
That task became even more difficult the day after Trout went down when two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani was forced from Tuesday’s 8-5 loss to the San Diego Padres with a blister on the middle finger of his right hand. Already dealing with a cracked fingernail, Ohtani is not planning on pitching in the All-Star game next week, and it is unclear whether he’ll be able to serve as the designated hitter for the AL. With every single game nearing must-win status for LA, the Angels cannot afford to be without Ohtani, who leads MLB with 31 home runs, for a significant amount of time.
“When I came out of the game, I was kind of in the moment, so we will see about going forward the next few days,” Ohtani said. “On the pitching side, I have like nine, 10 days until the next start, so hopefully I will heal in time.”
In addition to the injuries to Trout and Ohtani, the Angels were dealt another blow on Tuesday when star third baseman Anthony Rendon left the loss to the Padres in the fourth inning after fouling a ball off his leg. Later diagnosed with a bruised shin, Rendon was on crutches after the game, and it seems quite likely he will be joining Trout on the injured list. “It’s almost comical. It’s just frustrating,” he told The Athletic after the game. “I don’t know what to do. I’m lost.”
Without Trout and Ohtani, the Angels probably are, too. That’s a bad place to be with Ohtani’s contract expiring and the 29-year-old weighing whether he can ever make a World Series run if he remains with Los Angeles. As of now, it’s not looking good.