Anaheim Angels (no chance I’m calling them Los Angeles) star OF Mike Trout left this past Tuesday’s game with a flare up of back tightness that he’s been dealing with for about a week or so. Trout tried to come back on Tuesday after missing three straight games for rest and treatment, but had to leave after 1 1/2 innings due to tightness and discomfort. While an MRI performed on Trout’s came back clear except for some inflammation, this can be a tricky condition to get rid of completely without risk of flare ups.
From all accounts, it sounds like Trout is dealing with muscle spasms, which carry with it some inflammation, stiffness, and pain. While Trout was able to become pain-free Monday after receiving a few days of treatment, there is no test like getting back out on the field, which we now know didn’t go according to plan. I talked about it quite a bit yesterday on the Injury Report about how hard it is for any baseball player, regardless of position, to play to his full capabilities while dealing with issues related to the trunk/core. Just take a second and think about how much rotation and bending occurs when a guy swings a bat. What about when a pitcher reaches back into his windup to throw a pitch? How about reaching down to snag a ground ball up the middle or make an over-the-shoulder catch in the outfield? Every phase of the game requires a significant amount of trunk mobility, and that doesn’t even take into account the amount of force these guys need to generate in order to be the physical, athletic specimens that they are.
The truth of the matter is that we really don’t know when Trout will be able to shake this lingering spasm and tightness. It could go away tomorrow and never come back, or it could take another week to ten days. Everything thus far points to Trout avoiding a DL stint and the Angels’ training staff will do everything in their power to make sure they not only take care of his current pain, but also ensure they solve the root of the problem. And as good as the Angels’ staff is, they’ll get it taken care of. Expect the Angels to use both Kole Calhoun and Collin Cowgill to fill in for Trout until he’s 100% ready to come back. But at this point in time, it doesn’t appear to be anything too serious.