White Sox outfielder Avisail Garcia will miss the remainder of the season after suffering a torn labrum in his left shoulder.
Garcia was acquired from the Tigers last July in the three-team trade revolving around Jake Peavy and hit well in 42 games for the White Sox down the stretch, batting .304 with a .775 OPS despite shaky plate discipline.
Garcia was a big part of general manager Rick Hahn’s attempts to rebuild the lineup on the fly by adding a handful of young, MLB-ready hitters. Now he’ll miss all but eight games of his age-23 season.
Jordan Danks has been called up from Triple-A to take Garcia’s spot on the roster and figures to play regularly in the White Sox’s outfield, but he can’t come close to Garcia’s upside offensively. Dayan Viciedo should also see an increase in playing time, perhaps stepping out from a platoon with Alejando De Aza.
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.