For the first time since he stormed onto the scene in 2012 and won a spot as a rare rookie starter in the All-Star game, Angels center fielder Mike Trout will not play in the annual event.
Fans elected him as a starter for the sixth consecutive season, but Trout will not travel to Miami, where the July 11 game will be played. Angels general manager Billy Eppler announced as much Monday, saying that Trout will still be rehabilitating his torn thumb ligament during the All-Star break.
The Angels expect Trout to be fit enough to begin a rehab assignment with Class A Inland Empire later this week, perhaps as soon as Wednesday. But they say the duration of that assignment will preclude his playing at Miami.
“When you’re healthy, you’re healthy,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “Mike’s made remarkable strides in his rehab. But trying to cram and get ready for an All-Star game — although it’s a great honor and something he enjoys — is not the way you go about the rehab scenario.”
By the time he returns to major league games, likely July 14, Trout will have missed more than six weeks since surgery. The stated timeline was six to eight weeks. Shortstop Andrelton Simmons recovered from the same surgery in five weeks and three days, but his situation was anomalous.
Trout did not accompany the Angels to Minnesota. Asked if Trout thought he could play in the game, Scioscia said no, not at this point.
“When it first happened, with all the ranges of what happened with Simmons and when he was back, there were some scenarios where he would have played in rehab games earlier, played with us before the break and he could go play in the All-Star game,” Scioscia said. “That would have been such an accelerated pace from where he is now. You can’t expect that, you know what I mean?”
An MLB spokesperson confirmed that league rules do not require another Angel to be selected. Though he will not be in attendance, Trout satisfies the requirement to have one representative from every team.
Scioscia and several Angels argued Monday for Simmons’ inclusion on the roster. The 27-year-old is having the best offensive season of his career and continues to play superb defense, but Cleveland’s Francisco Lindor earned more votes from his American League peers.
The two players’ statistics are similar. Lindor won a Gold Glove over Simmons last season.
Right-hander Matt Shoemaker will start Tuesday for Inland Empire, beginning a rehab assignment after missing three weeks because of a forearm strain. Scioscia said Shoemaker will throw no more than four innings, which indicates that he’ll probably make another rehab start before he is activated from the disabled list. … New utility man Nick Franklin said he has been the emergency catcher at his last two stops, Tampa Bay and Milwaukee. He has played seven positions, including pitcher, in the majors.