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Can Mike Trout's Performance Offset Ohtani's Departure from LA Angels?
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By Associated Press
Published 4 weeks ago on
April 29, 2024

Mike Trout has been healthy this year and is leading the major leagues in home runs. So far, that hasn't been enough to help the Los Angeles Angels withstand Shohei Ohtani's departure. (AP/Ryan Sun)

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Mike Trout has been healthy this year and is leading the major leagues in home runs.

So far, that hasn’t been enough to help the Los Angeles Angels withstand Shohei Ohtani’s departure.

If it feels as if Trout and the Angels can’t catch a break, this is certainly another example. The three-time MVP finally looks like his old self again, but with Ohtani gone, Los Angeles is eight games under .500.

The 32-year-old Trout has reached the postseason only once, a decade ago. From 2012-19, he won those three MVPs and finished second in the voting four times. He is already in the top 50 all-time in Baseball Reference’s version of wins above replacement.

Trout is firmly on a Hall of Fame path and he has a chance to surpass 400 homers this year, but what he accomplishes in his 30s will go a long way toward determining exactly where he ends up historically. While he has already surpassed luminaries like Joe DiMaggio and Ken Griffey Jr. in career WAR, injuries have robbed Trout of some of his prime. He hasn’t played more than 140 games since 2016, and he appeared in only 237 over three seasons from 2021-23 — part of the reason the Angels weren’t much of a threat even with Ohtani and Trout both on the team.

Trout hasn’t missed a game this year and he leads the majors with 10 homers, although his stat line is still pretty unusual. He’s batting just .226 and has more extra-base hits (13) than singles (11). He has five stolen bases, already his most since 2019.

His power and availability are good signs, but with Ohtani now playing for the Dodgers — and off to a great start with a bat — even a healthy Trout might not be enough to keep the Angels relevant.

Trivia Time

Which players won American League MVP honors the four years Trout finished second?

Signs of Improvement?

Last year at this time, Oakland was baseball’s laughingstock, but although there’s still plenty of turmoil surrounding the Athletics’ planned moves to Sacramento and Las Vegas, their on-field performance hasn’t been too bad.

This past week, Oakland split a four-game series in New York against the Yankees, then took two of three at Baltimore, twice overcoming ninth-inning deficits against Craig Kimbrel. The A’s have a dominant closer in Mason Miller, who has 25 strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings. He’s a player to watch later this season when the trade deadline grows nearer.

The Chicago White Sox are at the bottom of the American League at 6-22, but they just swept a three-game set against Tampa Bay. Chicago has not been able to take advantage of an AL Central that was thought to be fairly weak. The White Sox are 2-15 within their division, which is a big reason everyone else in it is above .500.

Comeback of the Week

San Diego had a 9-4 lead at Colorado on Thursday in the bottom of the eighth inning. Not safe at Coors Field.

With one out, the Rockies had a win probability of 1.1% according to Baseball Savant. After a double and a walk, Hunter Goodman made it 9-7 with a three-run homer. After Brenton Doyle’s RBI single, Ezequiel Tovar scored on a passed ball to tie it, and with two outs, Elias Díaz delivered a go-ahead double that sent Colorado to a 10-9 win.

Line of the Week

Boston’s Ceddanne Rafaela went 4 for 4 with a homer, two doubles, seven RBIs and three runs to lift Boston to a 17-0 win over the Chicago Cubs on Saturday.

Trivia Answer

Miguel Cabrera in 2012, Cabrera again in 2013, Josh Donaldson in 2015 and Mookie Betts in 2018.

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