In a rebuilding year there are good stories and bad ones and one of the bad ones is when a guy who was supposed to be your ____ of the future doesn’t do all that hot. Christian Bethancourt was one of those guys for the Braves this year, so he spent most of the middle of the season in the minors.
But, since it is a rebuilding year, you can do things like use late August and all of September to give those bad stories a chance to head into the winter with optimism. Such is the case with Braves catcher Christian Bethancourt, who was sent down to Triple-A in June after early season struggles. Today they called him back up for a chance to head into the offseason with his head held a bit higher.
In the bigs he hit .298/.221/.287 in 29 games and, worse, played bad defense, which was supposed to be his calling card. A.J. Pierzynski took most of his playing time before he left and all of it after. In the minors he righted the ship quite nicely, hitting .327/.359/.480 in 52 games. If he can post numbers closer to that than what he did in Atlanta the Braves will have one less question mark heading into year two of the rebuild.
Angels star outfielder Mike Trout is done for the year, per a team press release. He’ll undergo surgery to remove the Morton’s neuroma in his right foot sometime over the next week, which will likely require a recovery period that stretches beyond the two weeks remaining in the regular season.
Trout, 28, has been day-to-day with a foot injury since the first week of September. On Monday, he underwent a cryoablation procedure to treat the neuroma on his right foot, but evidently requires further treatment to resolve the issue completely. Per manager Brad Ausmus, Trout ‘tested his foot by running’ on Sunday and found he was still experiencing too much pain to play, prompting his decision to undergo season-ending surgery.
This figures to be the first major setback Trout has seen since his thumb surgery in 2017, but there’s no reason to believe his current ailment will have any substantial effect on his 2020 season. Still, it’s an unfortunate end to another monster campaign by the eight-time All-Star and AL MVP contender, who will finish his 2019 season batting .291/.438/.645 with an AL-best 45 home runs, .1083 OPS, and league-leading 8.6 fWAR.