When Angel Pagan discussed the small tear in his left hamstring tendon over the weekend, he said that he would miss about six weeks if the injury required surgery. It turns out that he’ll have to miss significantly more time.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy told Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com that Pagan will undergo surgery tomorrow and is expected to miss 12 weeks. In other words, he’s at risk for missing the rest of the regular season. That’s a tough blow for the defending World Series champions.
Bochy plans to roll with Gregor Blanco as his primary center fielder and leadoff man while Pagan is sidelined, though Andres Torres and Juan Perez also figure to see playing time there. There’s still about five weeks until the trade deadline, so the Giants still have time to look for potential upgrades in the outfield.
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.