The Angels still haven’t officially announced the move, but Mike Trout has joined the team and is on the field taking early batting practice. Mike DiGiovanna said earlier Friday that Vernon Wells could be placed on the DL to open up a roster spot.
If that’s the case, then Trout will probably play something close to full-time. If not, then Trout is more likely to start three or four games per week in place of Wells and Bobby Abreu.
Trout, widely viewed as the game’s No. 2 prospect behind Bryce Harper, hit .163/.213/.279 with one homer in 43 at-bats in his first taste of the majors last month. He just turned 20 earlier this month, and he hit an exceptional .326/.414/.544 with 11 homers and 33 steals for Double-A Arkansas this season.
Update: Horacio Ramirez was demoted to create room on the roster. The Angels have Wells in left field, Trout in right field and Torii Hunter at DH tonight.
The Angels signed Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani for a $2.3 million signing bonus last weekend. They may have damaged goods on their hands. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that Ohtani underwent a physical that revealed a first-degree sprain of his ulnar collateral ligament. As a result, he got a platelet-rich plasma injection on October 20. This was made known to teams after Ohtani entered MLB’s posting system, so it wasn’t like the Angels went into this blind.
Ohtani’s report said, “Although partial damage of UCL in deep layer of his right UCL exists, he is able to continue full baseball participation with sufficient elbow care program.” It also said Ohtani “will most likely be available to start his throwing program approximately a month from the PRP.”
Passan notes that the report also mentioned that a “small free body” floats in Ohtani’s elbow near his UCL.
Ohtani isn’t without other injuries. He battled hamstring and ankle issues throughout 2017 and underwent right ankle surgery back in October. Thankfully for the Angels, this diagnosis is about as good as it could be considering the circumstances. However, if Ohtani does exacerbate his UCL issue, he may ultimately need Tommy John surgery at some point, which would take him out of action for at least a year.