The Angels recently welcomed Cam Bedrosian back into their bullpen, and they expect to do the same with Huston Street this week. But their hope of debuting a complete bullpen was nixed when Bud Norris inflamed right knee flared up after he pitched Sunday.

Norris was put on the 10-day disabled list Tuesday and the Angels recalled right-hander Mike Morin from triple-A Salt Lake. Manager Mike Scioscia said he expected Norris to be out only the necessary 10 days.

The knee has bothered Norris for much of the season. Last month in Miami, he had to exit an appearance early because weakness within the joint was preventing him from firing into his delivery. But he expressed confidence he could pitch through it with consistent treatment.

After he relayed his latest feelings Sunday, he underwent an MRI examination, which demonstrated no structural damage, according to Scioscia.

“We wanted to take the chance to take a half-step backwards, let it calm down,” the manager said.

Norris, 32, signed a minor league contract with the Angels in January and became their closer after injuries to the three men who entered training camp competing for the spot. In 34 games, he has 42 strikeouts, 13 walks, a 2.43 earned-run average and 11 saves in 13 chances.

Scioscia did not say who he will next entrust with closing opportunities. Even as Norris garnered nearly all of the club’s chances in recent weeks, Scioscia bristled at suggestions that he had anointed Norris the team’s closer.

Bedrosian and fellow right-hander Blake Parker are the plausible candidates.

Change of plans for Mike Trout

Scioscia had said Mike Trout would travel with the team to New York and Boston to rehabilitate his torn thumb ligament while observed by the team’s training staff.

Trout did travel east on the team charter, but he is not with the team. He’s spending the week working out in his hometown of Millville, N.J.

On Tuesday he took his first swings since the injury. When the team travels to Boston on Thursday, he is scheduled to head to Orange County and begin hitting off of a tee. Trout developed the plan in tandem with two club training staff.

“We had a couple things outlined about what he might do,” Scioscia said. “They all felt he’d get more done going back to the West Coast for the weekend, as opposed to Boston, where there’s no cage and not a lot that he’s going to be able to get out of there.”

Short hops

Right-hander Matt Shoemaker played catch for the first time since he exited early from a start last Wednesday with a forearm strain. He said the strain is feeling better. His hope is to start Sunday in Boston, the next time his rotation spot is up. … No decision has been announced aboutDoug Fister. The right-hander can opt out of his contract if he’s not called up Wednesday. Fister has been pitching for Salt Lake.

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Angels center fielder Mike Trout said Tuesday he could return from a torn left thumb ligament before the July 11 All-Star game, ahead of the standard timeline for his injury.

“It’d be pretty cool to hopefully be back by then, if everything goes on schedule,” he said. “I obviously don’t determine that, but I want to be out there as quick as I can. Hopefully, we’ll see.”

Asked to clarify whether he believed returning before the annual game was on the table, Trout said yes.

“Before the All-Star break, right at the All-Star break, depending on how it goes,” he said. “I don’t want to push it. I want to make sure it’s right. I don’t want it to be lingering the rest of the season.”

Trout suffered the ligament tear sliding headfirst into second base May 28 at Marlins Park, where this year’s All-Star game will be played. He had surgery May 31 and the Angels said he was expected to be out from six to eight weeks.

July 11 is one day short of six weeks since the surgery, but such a return would have precedent. Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons and Clippers guard Chris Paul each returned from the same surgery in less than six weeks.

Trout remains one of the American League’s top All-Star vote-getters. He is more than 800,000 votes ahead of the fourth-place outfielder, Michael Brantley.

Ten days ago, Trout was less optimistic about the possibility of playing.

“I’d love to,” he said then. “But it’d be pretty quick to get back in that time. It’ll be a goal, for sure.”

On Tuesday, Trout received the OK to begin grip exercises to strengthen the thumb. It remains sore, but not terribly so. He said he has been doing “a lot of crazy, little, finger activities.”

“It’s boring, I guess,” he said and laughed. “It’s just getting that range of motion back.”

He has been lifting weights with his lower body and core as normal.

“You want to make sure that when you come back and start to swing,” Trout said, “you don’t pull an oblique or anything.”

Trout said he had been hearing “good things” from team doctors.

“I’m happy with where it’s going,” he said. “My mind’s in the right place.”

Before Tuesday night’s game against the New York Yankees, the Angels had won seven times in 14 tries since Trout’s injury. He said he was pleased to see the club’s performance in his absence.

“People get the opportunity, and they go out here and live it up,” Trout said. “That’s cool.”

Short hops

On the second day of the MLB draft, the Angels selected four college right-handers, two high school right-handers and two high school outfielders. … Right-hander Cam Bedrosian was scheduled to throw an inning for Class-A Inland Empire on Tuesday night, in a resumption of his delayed rehab assignment for a groin strain. … In a reliever swap, the Angels recalled right-hander Mike Morin from triple-A Salt Lake and demoted right-hander Brooks Pounders.

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The Angels stole 10 bases over the weekend in Houston, more than any iteration of the team had swiped in a three-game series since the franchise’s founding in 1961.

Cameron Maybin stole six bases. Eric Young Jr., Andrelton Simmons, Ben Revere and Danny Espinosa each stole one. The record was a product of a club focused on obtaining offense wherever possible, absent traditional power sources.

The Angels are on pace to steal 137 bases this season, more than the 125 they stole in the last two seasons combined.

“Personally, I love it,” Young said. “We’re creating a lot of pressure on the other team. There’s multiple guys running, it’s not just one person running. We’ve got a lot of guys, and it’s going to put pressure on the defense, maybe force their hand.

“They might make same errors. They might hang a pitch in the zone and hitters can take advantage of it, which we were able to do this road trip.”

Simmons is on pace to set a career-high for steals this month. He has eight for the season, two shy of the career-high 10 he stole last season, his first with the Angels.

But it is Maybin’s total, in particular, that is eye-opening. His 19 steals in 46 games represent a 67-steal pace over a full season. The 30-year-old entered 2017 averaging 27 steals per 162 games.

Draft day

The Angels will pick 10th overall in the 2017 MLB draft, which begins Monday. They will also select at No. 47, before the third through 10th rounds occur Tuesday. The remaining 30 rounds will take place Wednesday.

It will be Matt Swanson’s first time supervising a draft. The Angels hired him as amateur scouting director last August after he developed a sterling reputation for spotting talent as a St. Louis Cardinals scout.

Angels manager Mike Scioscia said he had not evaluated any draft prospects this year. He did a bit last season.

Short hops

Right-hander Doug Fister threw 89 pitches over 5 2/3 innings Sunday for triple-A Salt Lake. He walked two and struck out one. His fastball was most often clocked at 89 mph, according to an attendee. Fister, 33, could soon be deemed ready to make a major league start. … Dozens of Japanese media members attended the series between the Angels and Astros to cover Norichika Aoki, who is approaching 2,000 career hits between Major League Baseball and Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball. After sitting at 1,998 for several days, he doubled and singled Sunday to reach the mark. The game was paused to honor his achievement, which earned him automatic induction into the Meikyukai, a type of Hall of Fame in Japan.

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Major League Baseball players who aren’t completely comfortable with the English language may be feeling a bit picked on this week, after comments by Philadelphia Phillies Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt and Boston Red Sox color commentator Jerry Remy.

During a radio interview on Tuesday, Schmidt was asked whether Phillies center fielder Odubel Herrera — who is from Venezuela native and uses a translator during interviews with reporters — is the type of player a team can build around.

“My honest answer to that would be no,” Schmidt told WIP’s Angelo Cataldi.

“First of all, it’s a language barrier. Because of that, I think he can’t be a guy that would sort of sit in a circle with four, five American players and talk about the game; or try and learn about the game or discuss the inner workings of the game; or come over to a guy and say, ‘Man, you gotta run that ball out.’ Just can’t be — because of the language barrier — that kind of a player.” ”

Schmidt was criticized by some for his comments. Cataldi defended his radio guest during an interview with the Associated Press.

“There was absolutely no connotation of racism to what Schmidt said,” Cataldi said. “It was strictly a reference to Herrera’s language barrier. It’s ridiculous the media has blown this out of proportion. If this was newsworthy, I would’ve known as soon as he said it.”

Still, by that afternoon Herrera said he had received a phone call and apology from the Phillies legend, who also released a statement trying to clarify his comments:

“It’s been made known to me that my answer on a radio interview this morning to the question, ‘Can the Phillies build a team around Odubel Herrera,’ was disrespectful to Herrera and Latin players in general. I’m very sorry that this misrepresentation of my answer occurred and may have offended someone. I assure everyone I had no intention of that. Odubel is a dynamo on the field, and as he becomes more comfortable with the language, his leadership skills will improve, and no doubt he will be a centerpiece in the Phillies future.”

That night during an NESN telecast of the Red Sox game against the New York Yankees, Remy made it clear that he does not approve of pitchers, such as Yankees’ Masahiro Tanaka from Japan, using translators during mound visits.



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Cameron Maybin wanted to please his new employer, so when the Angels suggested during spring training that he slide feet-first on stolen-base attempts in an effort to avoid injury, he complied.

“I tried it twice,” said Maybin, who suffered a torn ligament in his left thumb on a head-first slide into second last August while playing for the Detroit Tigers. “I got thrown out twice, and I was, like, over it. It’s too slow. It literally slows me down.”

The Angels, like most major league organizations, encourage players to slide feet first because it’s considered safer than sliding head first, a belief that was reinforced last week when star center fielder Mike Trout suffered a torn left-thumb ligament on a head-first slide into second.

A head-first slide exposes the fingers, hands and wrists to injury, and if a player slides beyond or away from the bag, he can jar an elbow or a shoulder while grabbing the base to stop his momentum.

A player can jam his wrist on the ground while bracing himself on a feet-first slide, and if he goes too hard and too late into the bag, he can sprain an ankle. But if executed properly, a good feet-first, pop-up slide is less dangerous.

Unless you’re like Maybin, Trout and the many big leaguers who grew up sliding head first into bases and feel uncomfortable doing anything different.

“It’s just a freak thing,” said Trout, who underwent surgery last Wednesday and will be out for six to eight weeks. “I’ll play the same way — I’m still gonna slide head-first, obviously with a guard now.

“I tried to slide feet first in spring. I just don’t feel comfortable doing it. I think I have more control when I dive head-first. They say [feet-first sliding] doesn’t slow you down, but it feels like I’m slowing myself down a little bit.”

Maybin, who stole 40 bases for the San Diego Padres in 2011, felt a similar sensation when he tried feet-first sliding this spring.

“It was physically awkward,” said Maybin, who was traded to the Angels last November. “I’m tall and I run kind of low to the ground, like Rickey Henderson did. When I tried to contort my body back upright [to start a feet-first slide], it just physically slows you down.

“I’m successful, and comfortable, doing it the way I do it, so I’m gonna keep doing it that way. I know I messed up my thumb last year, but it’s part of the risk that comes with the game.”

“I think the guys who naturally go head-first, they’re going to go head-first. And you don’t want to change what they do instinctually, because that’s when they get hurt.”

Times staff writers Pedro Moura and Bill Shaikin contributed to this report.

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Mike Trout sprinted toward second base Sunday afternoon in Miami, seeking his 10th stolen base of 2017. As he neared the base, he dropped his body into a headfirst slide, like he has thousands of times in two decades dedicated to baseball.

This time, Trout’s peripheral vision informed him the throw from home plate was bouncing away from Marlins shortstop J.T. Riddle, so he looked up to ascertain if he could take third base. He couldn’t, and when his eyes refocused on second base, it was too late. His left thumb had caught the base, overextended from his other fingers. He knew immediately he was hurt.

“When I picked my head up, I thought I was already on the bag,” Trout said Saturday at Angel Stadium, in his first public comments since undergoing surgery. “But I pulled up short, and that’s when I jammed my thumb.”

An MRI examination the next day confirmed Trout’s intuition. He tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb, and the operation was planned for Wednesday at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopedic Clinic. Trout said he had never had surgery of any kind. Before this, the most significant injury of his life was a strained hamstring that cost him six games last month.

“I was nervous, you can ask anybody,” he said. “It was pretty weird.”

Out of surgery, Trout insisted on heading to the stadium to watch Albert Pujols pursue the 600th home run of his career. He has come every night hoping to witness history, resolving to change nothing in his own steady pursuit.

“I play hard,” said Trout, who saw his teammate clobber a grand slam in the fourth inning for homer No. 600. “I’m still going to slide headfirst. I’ll just use a guard now.”



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We thought a rite of summer had been exhausted and retired. Little did we know.

We thought Mike Trout’s rousing victory in the American League most-valuable-player race last year had put an emphatic end to the increasingly tedious annual debate over whether a player from an inferior team should win.

Yes, if he were decidedly better than the candidates from contending teams.

Brace yourself for the mother of all MVP debates. Could Trout be the most valuable player if he does not actually play for a third of the season?

Trout, the Angels’ center fielder and the best player in baseball, is expected to sit out six to eight weeks after thumb surgery last Wednesday. Let’s assume he returns in seven weeks and plays every game the rest of the season.

That would give him 113 games. No position player has won an MVP award with so few games, with the exception of seasons interrupted by strike.

The Trout-driven arguments in previous summers have revolved around how best to define value, and which statistics best support your definition. The MVP ballot instructs voters that “there is no clear-cut definition of what most valuable means” and does not mandate or even mention any particular statistics for voters to consider.

Except one: “number of games played.”

Trout is atop all the WAR (wins above replacement) charts this season, and his backers commonly cite that statistic — a purported catch-all number that values offense, defense and baserunning — in proclaiming his dominance. So we asked Mike Petriello, so skilled at translating analytics into English for MLB Network, if Trout could possibly end the season atop the WAR charts despite such a lengthy absence.

“Will he lead the AL in WAR this year? Doubt it,” Petriello said. “Will he still rank insanely high for a guy who missed two months? Assuming he comes back at full Trout, hell yeah.”

That would make it easy for the Trout partisans to argue that he is the best player in baseball yet again. And that would again trigger the question of whether the best player is the most valuable, this year in the context of games played.

“There’s something behind that guy who is playing 158 games a year, grinding it, hot and cold, dead tired,” said Tim Salmon, the former Angels star and current television analyst.

“To me, that’s a huge difference. That might be the case with Mike if he misses 50 games.”

Said Angels reliever Huston Street: “Games played does absolutely matter. It’s how many games you have an influence on the outcome.”

But Trout was putting up a career year, in a career in which he already has won two MVP awards and could have won five. He was on pace to bat .337 with 49 home runs, each of which would be a career high, and lead the league in on-base percentage and slugging percentage.

Those answers will come in time. For now, let us appreciate how improbable it is that Trout still can be considered an MVP contender when a third of the season will go on without him.

Street, searching for a comparison of dominance, threw out the name of Sandy Koufax, who was elected to the Hall of Fame based on his performance over five seasons — five of the most spectacular seasons anyone ever will see — before his elbow could tolerate no more and he retired at 30.

“Sandy Koufax makes the Hall of Fame right after the bare minimum of time,” Street said, “but it was so dominant and so beautiful and awe-inspiring that you can’t deny that.”

Trout’s career arc has ascended to that rarefied level. It sounds crazy to say an MVP could play barely more than 100 games.

“He’s still Mike Trout,” Street said. “I’m not going to doubt him.”

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The night it became clear that Mike Trout would miss more than month because of a torn thumb ligament, right fielder Kole Calhoun fielded questions from reporters about the state of the Angels.

“Guys are gonna have to pick it up around here,” Calhoun said Monday, seemingly speaking of himself.

This season, Calhoun has struggled more than ever before in his professional career. On Thursday, he produced the best game of his season. The left-handed hitter launched two home runs, both against left-handed pitchers, both on first pitches. The first was to the opposite field.

“Sometimes it takes you facing a lefty to get you back to hitting to the whole field,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.

Calhoun, 29, hit .158 with a .533 on-base-plus-slugging percentage in May after averaging a .768 OPS from 2013 to 2016. He carried a .207 average into Thursday’s game, and a sub-.100 average against left-handed pitching.

But he said he had recently started to feel as though he was finding his way.

“I mean, he’s probably right,” Calhoun said of Scioscia. “Left-on-left matchups, at least personally, you slow it down a little bit and try to see the ball a little bit more.”

Without Trout, Scioscia has used Calhoun as his No. 2 hitter, before Albert Pujols.

Street delayed a week

Injured Angels reliever Huston Street had been scheduled to make the last appearance of his rehab assignment Thursday or Friday for Class-A Inland Empire and expected to be activated Tuesday in Detroit.

Instead, Street will not pitch for another week, and will miss the Angels’ upcoming six-game road trip to Detroit and Houston. He has been bothered all week by triceps soreness that arose after he threw a scoreless inning for triple-A Salt Lake on Sunday.

“My triceps was very stiff Monday after my outing,” Street said. “We just didn’t get it quite where we wanted it to be to go out and pitch on Friday. I would call it a very little setback, more like a small bump, not like an injury.”

Street, one of 27 relievers to register 300 or more saves in MLB history, said he did not expect to regain the closer role when he returned to the team. Bud Norris has handled the job for most of the season, and Cam Bedrosian, another closing candidate, is due to return from injury on Tuesday, ahead of Street.

“I haven’t even asked the question,” Street said. “My honest standpoint is I’m gonna come back and go pitch and just earn my way back into the ninth. Their job will be to decide what role best fits the team.”

Bourn signed

The Angels on Friday finalized a minor league contract with veteran outfielder Michael Bourn and installed him in their triple-A lineup. He’s an option to play center field in Mike Trout’s absence.

Bourn, 34, is a two-time All-Star who spent this season with Baltimore’s triple-A affiliate. He hit .264 with a .685 OPS in 413 plate appearances split between Arizona and Baltimore last season.

Short hops

Scioscia said he was not considering using Luis Valbuena as a late-innings defensive replacement when Jefry Marte starts at first base against left-handed pitchers. Marte, an inferior defender, missed a popup in Thursday’s ninth inning, which sparked Minnesota’s game-winning rally. … In the Angels’ annual pregame cow-milking competition Friday, reliever Blake Parker beat Twins infielder Eduardo Escobar.

Staff writer Mike DiGiovanna contributed to this report.

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Without Mike Trout, I can see more people in the Cinnabon line at the Big A than watching the game .

Richard Katz

Los Angeles

::

I agree it will take a team effort for the Angels to make it through Mike Trout’s injury. I just wish they had a better team to make the effort.

Ron Reeve

Glendora

::

From the I-told-you-so files: With everyone giving Trout advice, is anyone advising him to stop sliding headfirst? Is anyone telling him his fingers, like those of a classic violinist, are his life? Probably not. Next time, it may be a concussion, or, heaven forbid, a neck injury.

Alex Fernandez

Lakewood

::

With all the sabermetrics in baseball, what is the incidence of injury between headfirst slides compared to feet-first? My guess is that it is much higher with headfirst, thus the loss of the best player in baseball today, Mike Trout, for six to eight weeks.

Manager Scioscia and GM Eppler both share that they are reluctant to have a player change his sliding method that is instinctual. Really? I didn’t think there was anything left in baseball that is still done by instinct.

Wayne Muramatsu

Cerritos

::

After being an Angels fan since 1961, I am now switching over to the Dodgers. Too embarrassing to follow a team with so many incompetent players. Management should be ashamed.

Greg Fuller

Santa Monica

Blue crew

I know, I know. Of the few of us here in Southern Californiia able to watch Dodgers broadcasts, is anyone else sick and tired of Hershiser’s droning on and on about how it was like when he was pitching?

Alex Fernandez

Lakewood

I challenge anyone to explain MLB’s TV rules as far as the Dodgers are concerned. Last week the ESPN Dodgers game was not blacked out locally However this Wednesday the Dodgers-Cardinals game was not shown from L.A. to Las Vegas.

Wouldn’t it be great if the Dodgers would do the moral thing and offer some of the $8.3 billion back to Spectrum? Then perhaps Spectrum would charge less to the various satellite and cable channels. I know this won’t happen, because from D.C. to L.A., morality has disappeared.

Fred Wallin

Westlake Village

::

The Dodgers’ front office is to be commended for signing Chase Utley for another year. His veteran presence was big last year in Corey Seager’s great rookie year, and this year the tremendous influence of Chase is seen once again. It is quite visible that once he got rolling the team took his cue and is rolling too. This 38-year-old reminds me of players from the past whose work ethic is second to none. He is producing very nicely and shows intangibles he had with champion Phillies.

Nathan Gleiberman

Sherman Oaks

::

Chase Utley plays the game of baseball exactly the way it should be taught, with quiet passion and a veteran’s love of the old sport.

Shel Willens

Los Angeles

::

The Dodgers are playing great baseball, but fan excitement seems muted. Imagine if the games were on TV. L.A. would be ecstatic and a whole new generation of kids would become die hard fans. The ownership greed on the TV deal my have killed the golden goose.

Richard Dennison

Goleta

Tiger troubles

Apparently Tiger Woods thinks if you’re behind the wheel in the middle of the night on drugs it’s not as bad as if you had been drinking. Previously he claimed to be pain free, yet it sounds like pain meds were involved. Why was he mixing meds in the first place? Why was he at the wheel at 3 a.m.?

His attempt to spin this is as weak as his golf game.

Dave Thoma

Ventura

Far be it for me to scrutinize gazillionaire Tiger Woods’ life. He has after all helped thousands of kids, made fellow golfers rich, and captivated our lives with some unbelievable golf, but mixing prescription meds and driving around at 3 in the morning in a stupor probably isn’t what his doctor ordered.

Marty Foster

San Francisco

::

Who knew Tiger Woods would eventually attain another major in 2017? Sadly, it’s a major life/career faux-pas.

Mark J. Featherstone

Windsor Hills

If the shoe fits …

In the Monday article on Gyasi Zardes, we read “once taking the custom-made cleats off his own feet and giving them to a shy boy before driving home barefoot.”

Are you implying that he would have driven his car wearing soccer cleats?!

Bob Lentz

Sylmar

LaVar’s world

Parents bragging about their children, while annoying is understandable. What LaVar Ball has done is totally different. He is using his son to publicize himself. Saying how he could have beat Michael Jordan one on one. Look back at all of the quotes from LaVar. He uses the pronoun “we” just as much if not more than “he”. All other fathers stay in the background and show love and pride for their children. Not LaVar. He uses his son to make up for the totally ordinary life he has led. For a father to horn in on his son’s success to enrich his ego and wallet is both disgusting and pathetic.

Mike Lorraine

Simi Valley

Not the Finals word

Coaches don’t win NBA games, players do. Exhibit A: Mike Brown. Exhibit B: Luke Walton. What a difference a move between the Lakers and Warriors has been for both men.

Ken Feldman

Los Angeles

::

Considering Cleveland’s defensive effort, Game 1 resembled an NBA All-Star game.

David Marshall

Santa Monica

::

Well, now LeBron is getting a taste of his own medicine. This year’s NBA Finals will be payback for what he and Bosh pulled in Miami.

Richard Raffalow

Valley Glen

Local news

After reading the terms of Chris Paul’s and Blake Griffin’s possible max contracts, I think any talk of either player opting out is an example of fake news.

Loren Coleman

West Hollywood

::

Jerry West publicly states that he would like to end his career in some capacity with the Lakers. No-brainer, Magic.

Dave Moore

Santa Ana

::

The Los Angeles Times welcomes expressions of all views. Letters should be brief and become the property of The Times. They may be edited and republished in any format. Each must include a valid mailing address and telephone number. Pseudonyms will not be used.

Mail: Sports Viewpoint

Los Angeles Times

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Los Angeles, CA 90012

Fax: (213) 237-4322

Email:

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The Angels thrived in the wake of a season-ending knee injury to Garrett Richards in 2014, going 21-7 over the next month without their ace and turning a half-game lead in the American League West on Aug. 20 into a division-clinching 111/2- game bulge by Sept. 18.

So it was natural to use that as a rallying cry this week when star center fielder Mike Trout, considered the best all-around player in baseball, suffered a torn left-thumb ligament that was surgically repaired on Wednesday and will sideline him for six to eight weeks.

“When Garrett went down in 2014, that was a big blow to our pitching staff, but everyone pulled together, and we finished up pretty strong,” right fielder Kole Calhoun said. “Not having Mike, things are definitely stacked against us, but we have a lot of guys in here, and if we play together we can still be pretty good.”

Not to say that won’t happen. The team has hovered around .500 despite losing its top two starting pitchers (Richards and Andrew Heaney) and top three relievers (Cam Bedrosian, Huston Street and Andrew Bailey) to injury.

But the loss of Trout will be much more difficult to overcome than the loss of Richards in 2014.

For starters, Richards pitched once every five days. Trout played every day, impacting games with his bat, speed on the bases and stellar defense.

The Angels had four solid starters in 2014 in Jered Weaver, Matt Shoemaker, C.J. Wilson and Hector Santiago, a deep bullpen headed by Street and Joe Smith, and a potent offense that eased the burden on the pitching staff.



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