Mike Trout injury: Who will the Angels turn to in the outfield? Eight options including five trade candidates

The Los Angeles Angels were dealt a devastating blow Monday night. Mike Trout overcame his team’s loss to the San Diego Padres (SD 10, LAA 3) with a left wrist injury after hitting in the seventh inning. On Tuesday, the team announced that the three-time MVP has a hamate fracture in his left wrist. Fractures of the hamate usually require surgery and require a recovery time of 3 to 7 weeks.

“I just took a punch and something felt uncomfortable,” Trout told MLB.com after Monday’s game. “…I can’t really describe the pain I felt. I’ve never felt this pain before. I’ve never had wrist problems or anything. Just a freak thing.”

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The 31-year-old Trout isn’t having a typical Trout-like season, meaning he was just great and not the best player in baseball. He hits .263/.369/.493 with 18 homers and a 2.9 WAR. This is not a top trout either, but it is basically irreplaceable. Losing Trout for so long is a huge setback to the club’s post-season hopes. Check out all these injuries on the Trout:

The Angels lost Monday for the fifth time in their last six games and for the tenth time in their last 15 games. They’re three games away from a wildcard spot and are desperate to get back into the postseason, in part because of the opportunity they have The longest post-season drought in the sport and mostly because they want to show Shohei Ohtani that they can keep up and hopefully sign him back after the season.

Despite all the injuries and the recent loss, I don’t expect the Angels to switch to sellers and trade Ohtani in time. They’re still within striking distance of a wildcard spot and the club have been aggressively recruiting top candidates (Joyce, Neto, right-hander Sam Bachman) and trading them in for veterans (Eduardo Escobar, Mike Moustakas) in recent weeks. The angels will keep pushing.

How can the angels replace Trout? Well, there is no substitute for trout. All the Angels can do is hope to replace some of Trout’s lost production while others (cough Anthony Rendon cough) step in and deliver more than they’ve already had. Here’s a look at the Halos’ options as Trout will be on the casualty list for the foreseeable future.

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That’s what the angels need to do in the short term. Trades don’t always come quickly, and that’s especially true this time of year when the front offices are focused on this weekend’s amateur draft. Veterans Hunter Renfroe and Taylor Ward will continue to be key cornerback outfielders, with utility man Luis Rengifo also potentially having his time out. Here’s an alphabetical list of who else the Angels can put into the outfield with Trout Hurt.

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Adell hits as always in Triple-A: .271/.376/.580 with 23 homers in 72 games. Earlier this season, he guest-starred in a single big-league game and was called up on Tuesday to fill Trout’s squad spot. How exactly will the angels use it? And will Adell produce? He’s a professional .215/.261/.362 MLB-level hitter with terrifying plate discipline numbers and poor defense. If Adell doesn’t hit a lot, he doesn’t help his team much.

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The former No. 1 pick has had an impressive performance this season (nine homers in 119 plate appearances), although the Angels rarely use him against left-handers and plate discipline numbers (37 strikeouts and three walks) suggest that he could be unmasked with more playing time. However, Moniak, 25, is a legitimate midfielder and should see more playing time with Trout injuries, especially against right-handers. No one wants Trout to get injured and miss time, but this could be a golden opportunity for Mr Moniak.

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Phillips started the season as the Angels’ fourth outfielder before being sent to the Triple-A via waivers. He was never a particularly good hitter, but he is an outstanding defender. If nothing else happens, Phillips will play a great defense down the middle and make his contribution that way. Adell is a poor defender and it’s unclear if he will score. Moniak is a candidate who could be exposed with more playing time. Phillips and his trusty glove are the safest and most secure among the club’s in-house options.

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The trading market is beginning to recover. The Angels brought in Escobar and Moustakas last month on sensible, inexpensive moves and more recently AL West rivals Rangers picked up Aroldis Chapman. After the All-Star break next week, things should really heat up in the trading market. Here are some outfield trade candidates the Angels might target, listed alphabetically.

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Will the Cubs ever sell? They’ve lost seven of their last eight games and are seven games away from a postseason spot, but the NL Central isn’t exactly a strong division. A good week and you could be right back in the thick of things. If the Cubs make him available, Bellinger will be among the biggest names available as of deadline. It’s been fine overall and has been picking up a bit lately, although the under the hood numbers (exit speed etc.) aren’t all that rosy. Still, Bellinger would be a clear improvement over what the Angels have internally to replace Trout.

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Cave was the top hitter in Triple-A that season. Among the 200 players with at least 200 triple-A plate appearances this year, Cave ranks first in batting average (.365), eighth in on-base percentage (.444), first in slugging percentage (.730) and first place in OPS (1,174). The Phillies have a full outfield (Nick Castellanos, Brandon Marsh, Cristian Pache, Kyle Schwarber) and Bryce Harper is locked down in the DH after Tommy John’s surgery. Could the Phillies be looking to trade Cave, a career hitter at the big league level with .232/.297/.406, for a swap given that he’s suspended at the MLB level and his commercial value will likely never be greater?

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At the very least, Duvall would be a nice addition to Moniak. The rise of Jarren Duran (and Duvall’s lack of performance since returning from a wrist injury) have made the 34-year-old very expendable for the Red Sox. This would be another step for the Angels along the lines of Escobar and Moustakas. An experienced hitter at a low cost with no long-term strings attached. Boston is just a game behind the Angels in the wildcard race, although they could potentially oust Duvall even if they stay in the running.

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The Angels and Rockies have already agreed on a trade this season (Moustakas). Why not another one? The Angels originally drafted Grichuk in 2009 (they picked him a pick ahead of Trout) and he’s a prospective free agent on a bad Rockies team, making him an immediate trade-off. Grichuk has been a lot better at Coors Field (.324/.384/.480) than on the road (.256/.323/.384), although he’s been at it long enough for us to know what he is: 20 homers with a low base percentage and passable defense. Renfroe will generally have less power. Do the Angels want another player like this? They may not have much of a choice.

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Thomas is going through a breakout season with the bottom-ranked Nationals (a breakout season that isn’t fully backed by the under-the-hood numbers) and he’ll remain under the team’s control through 2025, so he’d be a multi-year signing for the Angel. Nationals GM Mike Rizzo traded Juan Soto and Trea Turner a full year before they were scheduled to become free agents. I’m sure he’s ready to move 27-year-old Thomas. This could be a sell-out situation for Washington and a “we’re desperate and he’s having a great year” move for the Angels.

Other possible trade targets: Estevan Floral, Yankees; Max Kepler, twins; Tyler O’Neill, Cardinals (currently on the injured list); Jurickson Profar, Rocky Mountains; Victor Robles, Nationals

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