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Saturday, June 6, 2020

Mike Trout

MRI shows Mike Trout has small calf strain

Mike Trout

Mike Trout has been diagnosed with a small calf strain and is day-to-day, the Los Angeles Angels announced on Monday.

Trout underwent an MRI earlier in the day for a calf strain that caused him to leave Sunday’s game. Trout said at the time that the injury was not serious, but the team still removed him and had him undergo testing as a precaution.

The testing showed pretty much with the Angels and Trout thought: the injury is minor.

Trout was not in the starting lineup for Monday night’s game against the Houston Astros. The leading AL MVP candidate is batting .305 with 30 home runs, 75 RBIs and a 1.121 OPS. He is in the middle of his best offensive season ever.

Mike Trout day-to-day with calf tightness after early exit

Mike Trout

Mike Trout briefly caused Los Angeles Angels fans to panic Sunday when he left the team’s game against the Seattle Mariners.

Trout left the game at the start of the third inning, with the Angels ultimately announcing that he was suffering from right calf tightness and is considered day-to-day.

In other words, the Angels and their fans can breathe easy. It’s not ideal, but Trout’s injury does not appear serious.

Trout is hitting .306 with 30 home runs in what is, in many ways, the best offensive season of his career to date. The Angels, who are still on the fringes of the AL wild card race, could hardly afford to lose him for very long.

Mike Trout in the middle of his best offensive season ever

Mike Trout

Mike Trout has been the best player in baseball for at least the last five years, if not longer. He’s won two AL MVP awards and has finished second in MVP voting four other times. Despite all that previous success, 2019 is shaping up to be his best offensive season ever.

Trout smacked a two-run home run in the bottom of the third inning on Saturday night to put his Los Angeles Angels up 5-0 on the Seattle Mariners. That was his 30th home run of the season, and he accomplished it in his 89th game of the season (the team’s 93rd), which is the fastest an Angels player has ever reached 30 homers in a season (besting his previous mark of 98).

As The Athletic’s Fabian Ardaya noted, Trout is posting his highest weighted runs created plus per at-bat mark of his career.

Trout current leads the American League in nine categories: home runs (30), RBIs (75), walks (77), on-base percentage (.458), slugging percentage (.670), OPS (1.128), OPS+, total bases (207) and intentional walks (11). The most categories he’s previously led the league in is five (2017 and 2018).

The slugging percentage and OPS are the highest marks of Trout’s career, and he is on pace for a career high in home runs (his previous is 41 in 2015). He is the runaway favorite to win AL MVP this year.

Mike Trout: Shohei Ohtani has best power in the league

Shohei Ohtani

Mike Trout has seen Shohei Ohtani up close for over a year and believes strongly in his ability.

Trout is not participating in this year’s Home Run Derby during the All-Star Game festivities, but Ohtani has expressed interest in doing so. Trout believes Ohtani would win if he were to participate. Why? Trout believes Ohtani “has the best power in the league.”

That’s a heck of a compliment, especially when you have guys like Bryce Harper, Josh Bell, Pete Alonso and Nomar Mazara regularly slugging 450-foot home runs.

Ohtani is helping to prove Trout right. He homered again on Thursday night, giving him 10 on the season and 32 in his first 148 games. He’s been hot in June and has seven home runs this month.

Watch: Marcus Stroman called Mike Trout ‘best ever’ after getting him out

Marcus Stroman

Mike Trout and the rest of his Los Angeles Angels teammates had a tough time facing Marcus Stroman on Tuesday night, but the Toronto Blue Jays pitcher managed to let Trout know how highly he thinks of him in the middle of the game.

Stroman got Trout to fly out to the warning track en route to leading the Jays to a 3-1 win over LA, and cameras caught him telling Trout he’s the “best player ever” as the slugger made his way back to the dugout.

Stroman is one of the more animated players in baseball and can rub people the wrong way, so many thought that was his way of patronizing Trout after retiring him. However, Stroman took to Twitter after the game to reiterate that he truly does believe Trout can go down as the greatest player in MLB history.

Trout is certainly one of the best to ever do it. He’s abusing baseballs once again this season to the tune of a .294 average and absurd .462 on-base percentage and 1.092 OPS. He’s only 27, so he will certainly be in the discussion for greatest player of all time if that continues.

Stroman has gotten into it with some opponents this season, so it’s no surprise people thought he was heckling Trout. But in this case, he is probably telling the truth.

10 MLB players on track to reach the Hall of Fame

Clayton Kershaw

Though their careers aren’t yet over, there are a number of MLB players who have likely already done enough to punch their ticket to the Hall of Fame after they quit playing. There are other young players who have started promisingly, but a handful of veterans have really stood out and put together resumes that will be hard to deny when their names come up on the Hall of Fame ballot after their retirement. Some are still producing at a high level, while some are not, but all of them should be treasured as long as they are still entertaining us with their talents.

Here are ten active MLB players who warrant strong Hall of Fame consideration — if they haven’t all but clinched it already.

10. CC Sabathia, SP, Yankees

Sabathia has a clear Hall of Fame case, but it’s a somewhat murky one. His peak was certainly good enough, but his 3.69 career ERA is somewhat high for a Hall of Famer. And, despite some memorable postseason exploits, he doesn’t have the playoff resume to stand out, either, and only won the Cy Young once. Still, it’s easy to see how Sabathia gets in. His longevity and consistency ensure he should get to 250 wins, and he’s already surpassed 3,000 strikeouts. Plus, his history of clutch pitching — including his stretch run with Milwaukee — could play on voters’ minds.

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Watch: Mike Trout belts 473-foot home run

Mike Trout

Mike Trout absolutely destroyed a baseball on Saturday night.

Trout took an outside fastball from Kansas City Royals pitcher Jakob Junis deep to left field for a solo home run in the bottom of the first inning, putting the Angels up 1-0.

The home run was estimated to have traveled 473 feet and had an exit velocity of 112.8 mph. It marked Trout’s 250th career home run with the Angels, which is the third most in team history. Trout is up to 10 home runs and 28 RBIs on the season.

His homer was somehow measured as traveling farther than Bryce Harper’s prodigious blast earlier in the day. 473 feet is the second-longest mark of Trout’s career since the Statcast era.