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Mike Trout speaks: 'I'm playing' in 2020

@RhettBollinger
July 22, 2020

Angels superstar Mike Trout left no doubt on Wednesday about his plans for the 2020 season after initially having some trepidation at the start of Summer Camp because his wife Jessica, is due to give birth to their first child on Aug. 3. “I’m playing,” Trout said via Zoom. “It’s

Angels superstar Mike Trout left no doubt on Wednesday about his plans for the 2020 season after initially having some trepidation at the start of Summer Camp because his wife Jessica, is due to give birth to their first child on Aug. 3.

“I’m playing,” Trout said via Zoom. “It’s definitely been great so far. I don’t think we’ve had any positives other than a couple early. Guys have been respectful of others and everybody is wearing a mask and social distancing and being safe. We’re seeing that. The results are there. We just have to pick it up and stay on it when we’re on the road.”

Trout, a three-time AL MVP and eight-time All-Star, will be present for the birth of the child but said he’s still unsure exactly how the quarantine protocols will work when he leaves the Angels. But he plans on talking with general manager Billy Eppler to get a better feel for what to expect. He said his wife and he have a named picked out for the baby boy but they haven’t even revealed it to their family yet.

“They’ll be testing every day,” Trout said. “I’m not sure about a quarantine. But obviously I gotta be there for the newborn, my first one.”

Trout also reiterated the importance of everyone in the Angels organization following the safety protocols related to COVID-19. The Angels have roughly 120 individuals in Tier 1 and Tier 2, and they have contact with the players. The organization held a Zoom meeting before Summer Camp outlining their own protocols, including wearing masks in public, avoiding dine-in restaurants and mostly staying in the hotel on the road.

“I told the guys since Day 1, all it takes is one guy to mess this up,” Trout said. “Was talking to a couple of the Dodgers guys yesterday, obviously six feet apart, it’s gonna be really tough. You have to really respect and be accountable, especially late in season. If you bring the virus in the clubhouse when you’re fighting for the playoffs, I can’t even imagine what that would be like. Hopefully there’s no outbreak.”

Trout said the lack of any outbreaks in Major League Baseball during Summer Camp made him more comfortable and that it’s allowed him to focus on getting ready for the start of his 10th season with the Angels.

“You worry when you have a pregnant wife at home and you’re coming home after spending time at the field all day with people, teammates,” Trout said. “I think the biggest concern the whole time was if there’s an outbreak. There hasn’t been one yet. If there was, we would have to evaluate the situation, do what’s right for our family. But everything's been great so far. I’ve been locked in on baseball.“

Trout feels ready to go physically and has also looked locked in at the plate in intrasquad action and in exhibition games. He ripped a double off San Diego’s Garrett Richards on Monday that had an exit velocity of 111.1 mph, and even his out was a line drive to third that left the bat at 101.1 mph.

Trout, who has only made the postseason one time since being called up in 2011, also has high hopes for this upcoming season. The Angels made several key additions in the offseason, including hiring Joe Maddon as manager and signing Anthony Rendon to a seven-year deal. Rendon is currently dealing with an oblique strain that will keep him out of action on Opening Day but Trout has liked what he’s seen from the pitching staff.

“Everything looks great,” Trout said. “The pitching has been unreal. It’s a grind playing against your own team. With Rendon banged up, it hurts a bit, but I heard it’s minor, so he should be ready.”

Trout was also pleased to see Mookie Betts officially sign a 12-year extension worth $365 million with the rival Dodgers, as he’s gotten to know Betts over the years at events such as the All-Star Game. Trout is signed through 2030 with his extension signed last year, while Betts is signed through 2032.

“I’m happy for him,” Trout said. “Being so close to him now, it’s pretty cool to have him out here. Southern California is great."

Rhett Bollinger covers the Angels for MLB.com. He previously covered the Twins from 2011-18. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.