Life without Trout
With superstar sidelined six to eight weeks, Angels are counting on team effort to ease impact.
Mike Trout underwent surgery Wednesday to repair tears in the ulnar collateral ligament and dorsal capsule of his left thumb. The Angels said the operation, performed by Dr. Steven Shin at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopedic Clinic, was successful. They stuck to an estimated timeline of six to eight weeks for Trout to return to action.
The Angels did not make Shin available for an interview, but general manager Billy Eppler confirmed the doctor performed an innovative treatment on Trout, involving internal brace ligament augmentation within the thumb. The procedure has been known to accelerate recoveries.
“It’s a development that’s very new,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “It’s a development that helped Andrelton Simmons come back in five weeks. I’m not exactly sure what it looks like or what it does, but I know that it’s in there and it’ll hopefully give him a stronger repair and something that’ll hold up a little longer.”
When the Angels announced the injury, they did not announce a dorsal capsule tear, but Scioscia said that was planned as part of the surgery from the outset. The capsule is often linked to the UCL in tears.
“From getting the postop report, there weren’t really any surprises,” Scioscia said.
Trout tore his thumb sliding headfirst into second base Sunday in Miami. Initial X-rays were negative for a break, but the tear was uncovered upon further testing Monday.
The 25-year-old center fielder was soaring through the best season of his career, leading the American League with a .461 on-base percentage and .742 slugging percentage. He homered 16 times in 47 games.
“We’re gonna count the days,” Scioscia said of Trout’s recovery. “We’re excited that everything went well, and we’ll hopefully get good news as he starts to work through his rehab, when he can pick up a bat and all of that.”
The Angels made a series of roster moves to add another outfielder while Cameron Maybin’s status remains unclear. Maybin reported feeling pain in his side Tuesday and was due to test his capacity to swing Wednesday evening. While Scioscia said he was improving, Maybin did not start for the second game in a row.
To play the outfield in his absence, the Angels recalled Shane Robinson from triple-A Salt Lake. Robinson spent much of last season with the major league club. He hit .173 in 111 plate appearances. The 32-year-old had previously demonstrated relative prowess hitting against left-handed pitchers. He started Wednesday against Atlanta left-hander Jaime Garcia.
Right-hander Parker Bridwell was optioned back to Salt Lake after joining the team Tuesday to make a spot start. Right-hander Daniel Wright was designated for assignment to create space for Robinson on the 40-man roster.
Left-hander Tyler Skaggs said he is targeting a June 29 return against the Dodgers, which happens to be the day he is eligible to be activated from the 60-day disabled list. He suffered an oblique strain at April’s end and has been throwing from 90 feet. … Right-hander Cam Bedrosian (groin strain) will make two rehab assignment appearances for Class-A Inland Empire over the weekend and could be activated next week. … Trout leads the AL in AllStar voting. Albert Pujols was fifth among AL designated hitters in the updated list MLB released Wednesday.