Trout's All-Star Game status 'up in the air'

Ohtani closing in on his first Midsummer Classic

June 15th, 2021

OAKLAND -- Superstars and are the leading vote-getters at their respective positions for the All-Star Game at Colorado’s Coors Field on July 13, as announced by MLB on Monday. But Angels manager Joe Maddon said Trout might not be ready to return from his right calf strain in time to play in the game.

Trout, who has been out since May 17, was reevaluated by a doctor on Monday. Maddon said the current timetable for a return to action for Trout is about a month, which would put his All-Star Game status in jeopardy. Trout has been an All-Star eight times and leads all American League outfielders, garnering 706,503 votes and 15 percent of the vote among AL outfielders.

“He went in for an examination, everything's coming along really well, the healing process is definitely occurring," Maddon said. "The timetable is probably at least another month. That's what it sounds like. If it's quicker than that, that would be great. I wouldn't anticipate that, but everything's absolutely pointing in the right direction. And I think soon he'll be able to jog a little bit. But the baseball activities are still a little far away. The [All-Star Game] would be up in the air. I think it’d be kind of a stretch from what I’m hearing right now.”

Ohtani, though, is closing in on his first All-Star appearance and Maddon indicated that he wouldn’t be against the two-way star also pitching in the game. Ohtani has been on 33 percent of the ballots at designated hitter, outpacing Boston's J.D. Martinez (18 percent) and Houston's Yordan Alvarez (9 percent).

Entering Monday, Ohtani is batting .269/.353/.608 with 17 homers and 45 RBIs in 60 games as a hitter, and he has a 2.85 ERA with 68 strikeouts, 28 walks and four homers allowed in 47 1/3 innings as a pitcher. His next start on the mound is set to come on Thursday as part of the club’s Re-Opening Day against the Tigers at a full-capacity Angel Stadium.

“It would be great, fine,” Maddon said. “It just depends on his day. It’s just an inning. And I know if he’s able to do it, I’d have no objections to it. His schedule has been great. The number of innings pitched, how many pitches he’s thrown, I think it's in pretty good order. I don't see a dramatic spike between now and then. It would just be how he feels, what he thinks about it."

Maddon also wouldn’t rule out Ohtani participating in the Home Run Derby on July 12, but he said it would be up to Ohtani -- and the Angels' skipper hasn’t heard anything regarding his potential interest in the event.

"I'm not as against that as others," Maddon said. "I just don't like it when it becomes never-ending. There's got to be a more finite way of doing it. It can be exhausting. But again, it's something where I would want to ask him how he felt about it. He will be honest. I don't think this is something you want to force him to do or not to do."

The Angels have several other players among the leading vote-getters at their respective positions, including first baseman Jared Walsh (fourth), catcher Kurt Suzuki (fifth), third baseman Anthony Rendon (fifth), shortstop José Iglesias (sixth), second baseman David Fletcher (sixth) and outfielder Justin Upton (15th).

Of that group, Walsh has the best chance to be named an All-Star, although Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has a huge lead in the balloting among first basemen. Walsh, however, could be a reserve and has been one of better hitters in the American League, batting .293/.363/.556 with 14 homers, 15 doubles and 43 RBIs in 63 games. He recently went through a bit of a slump, but doubled on Saturday before homering and doubling on Sunday.

“He just got out of his patterns and got a little bit jumpy at the plate,” Maddon said. “What he did over the weekend were classic indicators he was coming back. He had the strike zone under better control and was seeing his pitch and not missing it. He looked completely different to me in the last two games than he looked in the last two weeks."