Mike Trout was not in the starting lineup for the Angels’ home finale Wednesday, and how did Manager Mike Scioscia explain that to the fans looking forward to seeing the best player in baseball one last time this season?
“He’s played about 80 games here,” Scioscia said. “He’s played a lot. It’s a day off that is long overdue for him.”
Trout, who has played in 77 of the Angels’ 80 home games, last had a day off Aug. 21. He has one hit — and eight strikeouts — in his last 14 at-bats.
“He’s out of sync,” Scioscia said. “He’s been grinding. He just needs to exhale a little bit. In the batter’s box, I think he’s pressing a little bit.”
Scioscia said he expected Trout to play in the Angels’ season-closing series in Texas.
Trout has 187 hits, so 200 is just about out of reach. He ranks first in the American League in walks and runs; second in batting average, on-base percentage, extra-base hits and triples; and fourth in hits and slugging percentage.
On Tuesday, he reached base for the 301st time this season, tying Rickey Henderson’s record for the age-21 season. With one more double and one more triple, Trout would become the first 10-20-30-40 player in major league history: 10 triples, 20 home runs, 30 stolen bases and 40 doubles.
He already has become the first player in AL history with 25 homers, 30 steals and 100 walks in a season, as well as the first with 30 steals, 70 extra-base hits and 100 walks. He joins Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams and Albert Pujols as the only players in major league history with 50 home runs, 200 runs and a .320 batting average over his first two full seasons.
Trout cannot file for free agency until after the 2017 season. His agent told The Times there have been no long-term contract talks with the Angels.
“It’s about time to start looking for a house,” Trout said. “I’m trying to see what direction my career takes me. Do I want to buy a house out here or some other place?”