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Trout's aura still felt at ASG

Outfielder will return Friday for first game after the break
MLB.com

MIAMI -- For the first time since 2011, Major League Baseball will stage an All-Star Game without Angels center fielder Mike Trout.

Trout earned his sixth consecutive All-Star selection this season, but he'll be unable to participate in the festivities at Marlins Park as he completes the final stages of his rehab from a torn ligament in his left thumb, leaving the Angels without a representative at the Midsummer Classic.

MIAMI -- For the first time since 2011, Major League Baseball will stage an All-Star Game without Angels center fielder Mike Trout.

Trout earned his sixth consecutive All-Star selection this season, but he'll be unable to participate in the festivities at Marlins Park as he completes the final stages of his rehab from a torn ligament in his left thumb, leaving the Angels without a representative at the Midsummer Classic.

Still, the 2017 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard should be the last game Trout will be forced to miss because of injury. The two-time American League MVP award winner is slated to come off the disabled list on Friday, when the Angels host the Rays in their second-half opener at Angel Stadium. After playing 39 games without their superstar, the Angels -- and even some of their competition -- are eager to see Trout return to the field.

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"He's a great player, and I actually know because I enjoy watching him play," Tampa Bay designated hitter Corey Dickerson said Monday. "Of course, I would rather him not do well against us whenever we play him, but he's a joy to watch play the game. It's good to play against the best competition. You want to beat them when they're at their best, and they want to beat us when we're at our best. So you always want to play good baseball, and it's good for the fans, too."

The Angels, who surprised many by going 19-20 with Trout on the disabled list, finished the first half at 45-47 and currently sit only three games behind the Rays for the second American League Wild Card spot. Trout's return should help reinvigorate their slumping offense, which has averaged an AL-worst 4.10 runs per game, making the Halos one of the more intriguing clubs to watch in the second half.

Trout was enjoying his best season to date before he tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb while making a headfirst slide into second base. At the time of his injury, Trout was batting .337 with a 1.203 OPS, 16 home runs, 36 RBIs and 10 stolen bases over 47 games.

Trout, 25, went hitless in his first two rehab games with Class A Advanced Inland Empire, but he was back to his old self in his fourth and final Minor League tuneup on Sunday, going 1-for-2 with three walks and a triple.

"I feel ready to play," Trout told reporters afterward.

That's good news for the Angels, and bad news for everyone else.

Today at 4:30 p.m. PT, tune in to the 2017 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard live on FOX, and during the game visit MLB.com to submit your choice for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet via the 2017 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote. The 88th All-Star Game, in Miami, will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 160 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB.com, MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.

Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com.

Los Angeles Angels