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#pounditFriday, April 12, 2024

WBC may have provided the spark Mike Trout needed

Mike Trout in his Angels uniform

May 14, 2022; Oakland, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout (27) jogs to the dugout during the third inning against the Oakland Athletics at RingCentral Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels have not appeared in a postseason game since 2014, and the World Baseball Classic served as a reminder for Mike Trout of how much he misses the playoff atmosphere.

Trout helped lead Team USA to the World Baseball Classic final, where they lost to Japan. The star outfielder indicated over the weekend that playing in the event provided him with a spark heading into the upcoming season.

“As soon as (the WBC) was over, on the bus headed back, I texted (Angels manager Phil Nevin). I said, ‘I needed this. I needed to play in this atmosphere. I needed to experience it and be in the moment.’ It just made me think about how bad we want to get back to the playoffs,” Trout said.

Trout had a bounce-back year in 2022 after he missed most of the previous year with a torn calf muscle. He hit .283 with 40 home runs and 80 RBI, but the Angels still won just 73 games and finished third in the AL West. They have not had a winning season since 2015, which means they have played very few games with an atmosphere like the one Trout experienced at the WBC.

Though his Angels teammate got the best of him to end the WBC, Trout clearly enjoyed the experience. If the Angels can somehow put together a winning season, it might help Trout accomplish one of his important goals for 2023.

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