Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout.

Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout.


Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout.

The Los Angeles Angels are having a dismal season in the wake of two-way star Shohei Ohtani leaving as a free agent during the offseason.

Things took an even bigger turn for the worse on April 30. The Angels learned that star center fielder Mike Trout needs surgery on his left knee to repair a torn meniscus.

This marks the fourth consecutive season that Trout, a three-time MVP, has sustained a significant injury. He was limited to 36 games in 2021, 119 games in 2022 and 82 games last season.

Trout underwent an MRI on April 29 after the Angels defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 6-5 at home. The imaging revealed the tear, which marks the first time Trout has had a knee injury.

Injury Enough to Make Mike Trout Cry

Trout, 32, fought back tears when talking about the injury on April 30 before the Angels lost to the Phillies 7-5.

“It’s crazy, because I look back and I don’t even know when I did it,” Trout told reporters. “I was kind of telling myself, ‘Maybe I just banged it on something, and I didn’t realize it.’ And then after the game, getting treatment on it, it was really sore. The plan was just to see how I felt in the morning. If I woke up and it was sore, just get it looked at. That was the plan. Last night was tough for me to sleep. It was just aching all night.”

Mike Trout was emotional, as you might expect, but somehow composed. …

The Angels are 11-19 but Trout has been a bright spot with his 10 home runs, which is tied for the major-league lead with Baltimore Orioles shortstop Gunnar Henderson. However, Trout’s slash line is a subpar .220/.335/.541 in 29 games.

The Angels say they won’t have a timeline on Trout’s possible return until he undergoes surgery. However, general manager Perry Minasian said the team is hopeful Trout can play again this season.

Who Plays Center Field for Angels?

The Angels signed veteran outfielder Kevin Pillar as a free agent as the corresponding move for placing Trout on the 10-day injured list. Pillar was designated for assignment by the Chicago White Sox and elected free agency on April 28 after clearing waivers.

Pillar, 35, played in 17 games for the White Sox this season and batted .160/.290/.360 with one homer. The Angels became the eighth team of his 12-year career.

Mickey Moniak started in center field in the first game following Trout’s injury. The Angels will likely platoon the left-handed hitting Moniak with the right-handed hitting Pillar.

Trout’s injury came one day after veteran outfielder Aaron Hicks was designated for assignment. He posted an abysmal .140/.222/.193 slash line with one homer in 18 games.

The Phillies chose Moniak first overall in the 2016 amateur draft, but he has yet to blossom in the majors. The Angels traded for him during the 2022 season, and he is hitting just .150/.203/.217 with one home run in 23 games in 2024.

Mickey Moniak has a batting average of .127 with 18 strikeouts, 7 hits, a home run, 3 RBIs and 4 runs

You sure you want this dude in the lineup daily?

Despite having a new manager in Ron Washington, this season was expected to be difficult for the Angels after Ohtani signed a 10-year, $700-million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Indeed, the Halos have the fifth-worst record in MLB and are facing a long stretch without the face of the franchise.

The Angels are also without third baseman Anthony Rendon, who is on the IL with a hamstring injury. Trout and Rendon are both making $37 million this season.

“We’re going to miss Mike,” Washington said. “I think we know what he means to this organization. But the thing about baseball is, when there’s a game on the schedule, you have to play. Some guys are going to get the opportunity that they’ve been craving. Now, we’re going to see what they’re going to do.”

John Perrotto covers Major League Baseball for Heavy.com. He has covered MLB since 1988 and is a Hall of Fame voter. John is a columnist for Pittsburgh Baseball Now, a contributor to The Associated Press and Baseball Digest, and the student media advisor at Robert Morris University. He is a graduate of Geneva College. More about John Perrotto

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