Wednesday July 5th marked Mike Trout’s first professional baseball game since he tore a ligament in his left thumb sliding into second base in Miami on May 28th. Trout’s journey back to the big leagues started with the Inland Empire 66ers, the Angels High A ball affiliate, as he batted 3rd as the team’s DH Wednesday night. Trout ultimately went 0-3 but reported no pain after the game, a welcomed sign for the Angels and their premier player.
Mike Trout was the 66ers DH again on Thursday night as he continued to get more reps of game action. Angels fans are obviously excited to see Mike Trout in action, evidenced by the 300+ Inland Empire 66ers Trout t shirts that have sold already. In his first at bat of the night, Trout faced off against Chris Bassit, who made a rehab start for the Stockton Ports after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2016. Trout saw 4 pitches in his first at bat, striking on a 94 mph fastball up in the zone. The 2nd at bat was even more anticlimactic for the 66ers fans in attendance as the first pitch Trout saw was a curveball that hit him in the back. The fans were audibly upset and reasonably so. In his 3rd at bat, Trout reached base again, this time on catcher’s interference. In his first 3 at bats, Trout failed to make contact with any baseball, due to some very strange circumstances. Trout rolled over on a pitch to the shortstop in his 4th at bat, ending his night. The 66ers blew a 6-3 lead in the 9th inning, as the Ports dropped a 4 spot and took home the win by a score of 7-6.
Trout met post game with the press to discuss his night. Luckily, he was able to answer some questions for myself and Angels Win. Trout reported no pain after the game on Thursday night but was scheduled to have a day off Friday and play again on Saturday night.
On any potential benefits or experiences he had while watching from the bench rather than playing on an everyday basis: “You know, it was frustrating. I wanted to be out there with the team. I did get to go up in the replay room and get all the angles of the game. You know other than that, it was pumping the guys up and cheering the guys on. When they’d come home, I’d watch them in the dugout. When they were on the road, it was a little weird watching them on the couch.”
On the adversity the 2017 Angels team has had to face with major injuries to the club and what that says about the team: “They keep fighting. They fight to the end. They guys are staying positive, they know their roles and they’re all doing their roles. It’s fun to watch as a player, as a teammate. I just can’t wait to get back out there.”