After undergoing season-ending surgery last August to repair a torn labrum in his right hip, Brian Roberts went under the knife again last month. According to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun, Roberts required surgery to repair a sports hernia on December 20 after he felt some discomfort and inflammation in his abdominal area.
While it would certainly be better news if he didn’t need the surgery at all, Roberts says he’s fully recovered and has already resumed baseball activities.
“If I was going to have any type of surgery, it’s probably the best one to have,” said Roberts, who talked with Matusz and Markakis before the procedure. “I knew it really wasn’t going to affect me much.”
Injuries have limited Roberts to a total of 115 games over the past three seasons, but he expects to be a “full go” for spring training. The 35-year-old is entering the final year of a four-year, $40 million contract with the Orioles.
Everyone is well aware of how good Angels outfielder Mike Trout is at the game of baseball. The 26-year-old is already an all-time great, having won two MVP awards — and arguably deserving of two others — and the 2012 Rookie of the Year Award. He has accrued 54.2 WAR, per Baseball Reference, which is right around the threshold for a Hall of Fame career. Trout does it all: he draws walks, he hits for average, he hits for power, he steals bases, he plays good defense.
But here’s an achievement that is amazing even for a player like Trout: he has yet to strike out this spring. In 41 Cactus League plate appearances, he has 10 hits (including a triple and two homers) and six walks with zero strikeouts. Across his career, Trout has a 21.5 percent strikeout rate, right around the league average. He isn’t usually such a stickler for avoiding the punch-out, but this spring he is.
To put this in perspective, 134 players this spring have struck out at least 10 times, according to MLB.com. 938 players have struck out at least once. The only other players to have taken at least 10 at-bats without striking out this spring are Humberto Arteaga (Royals, 23 AB), Tony Cruz (Reds, 18 AB), Oscar Hernandez (Red Sox, 10 AB), and Jacob Stallings (Pirates, 18 AB).
According to Angels assistant hitting coach Paul Sorrento, the lack of strikeouts hasn’t been a conscious effort from Trout, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. Ho hum. The best player in baseball is apparently getting even better.