ANAHEIM -- Angels superstar Michael Trout will undergo surgery to repair the UCL tear in his left thumb on Wednesday and is expected to miss six to eight weeks.The reigning American League MVP injured his thumb while sliding into second base during a stolen-base attempt on Sunday afternoon. He underwent
ANAHEIM -- Angels superstar Michael Trout will undergo surgery to repair the UCL tear in his left thumb on Wednesday and is expected to miss six to eight weeks.
The reigning American League MVP injured his thumb while sliding into second base during a stolen-base attempt on Sunday afternoon. He underwent an MRI exam on Monday that revealed the tear and was placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career. Shortly after, the 25-year-old opted for surgery, which will be performed by Dr. Steven Shin.
"It's definitely the best course of action for him right now," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said following the Halos' 6-3 loss to the Braves. "I think he's comfortable with the decision. Hopefully everything goes well Wednesday."
• Fallout from Trout injury felt across MLB
Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons had a similar injury last May and underwent surgery to repair a full tear of the UCL in his left thumb. Thanks to a new medical innovation called the internal brace, Simmons ended up beating his prognosis and returned after just five weeks on the DL.
Losing Trout for an extended period is a huge blow to the Angels, who already have Garrett Richards, Tyler Skaggs, Alex Meyer, Yunel Escobar, Huston Street, Cam Bedrosian and Andrew Bailey on the DL.
The Halos have managed to keep their heads above water despite the crushing wave of injuries, but Trout's absence will be far more difficult to absorb. The Angels fell to 26-28 following Monday's loss and are 3-4 in the seven games that Trout has missed this season. While they remain in second place in the American League West, they trail the Astros by 11 games, and their playoff hopes are severely dimmed without Trout.
"I think you'll feel that impact," general manager Billy Eppler said. "The team will require multiple people stepping up in his absence. The team will continue to fight, as it always does, but you know you're losing the heart of your order and the heart of your defense and a leader in the dugout and on the bench. It's something to absorb, there's no doubt. But I know the guys in the clubhouse will do their darndest to absorb it."
Trout had been off to the best start of his illustrious career, batting .337 with a 1.203 OPS, 16 home runs, 36 RBIs and 10 stolen bases through 47 games.
"It's tough, especially being a guy that's at the top of his game right now," right fielder Kole Calhoun said. "What he's doing this season is unbelievable. To be sidelined in the middle of that, it's tough mentally. Nobody wants that. But Mike's good at everything. He'll probably be good at rehab, too."
After officially placing Trout on the DL, the Angels selected the contract of Eric Young from Triple-A Salt Lake and transferred Skaggs to the 60-day DL to clear a spot for Young on their 40-man roster. Young, who was batting .354 over 44 games at Salt Lake, started in left field on Monday in the Halos' series opener against the Braves and went 1-for-4 with two stolen bases.
Fantasy spin | Fred Zinkie (@FredZinkieMLB)
The consensus top player in fantasy baseball, Trout will leave a massive hole in owners' lineups during his extended absence. The 25-year-old, after all, was on his way to another memorable season, hitting .337 with 16 home runs and 10 steals across 206 plate appearances. Trout owners with pitching depth may wish to trade for a high-level hitter, while others could use the waiver wire to replace a specific component of Trout's contributions. Owners seeking homers from waivers could consider Josh Bell or Domingo Santana and those who need steals can check on the availability of Cameron Maybin or Kevin Kiermaier.
Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com.