One day after missing a game because of a foot injury, Angels star Mike Trout was out of the lineup for Monday’s series opener against the Cleveland Indians at Angel Stadium. He had a procedure done to relieve nerve irritation in his right foot.
Trout said he didn’t even watch it happen. A needle was going to be inserted into his foot, he was told. That was enough to churn his stomach and make him turn his gaze.
When the cryoablation — the insertion of hollow needles through which cooled fluids are circulated — was done, Trout felt some relief. He’d been dealing with the injury for nearly a month. He played through soreness until he was spelled during the weekend in Chicago — he was removed from Friday’s game against the White Sox in the fifth inning, appeared only as a pinch-hitter Saturday and was scratched from the lineup Sunday. Before that, he had missed only one game in the last month — an Aug. 28 home loss to the Texas Rangers.
The pain intensified the last few days. Rather than let it continue, Trout underwent a simple procedure to ease the Morton’s neuroma that had formed in his right foot. Morton’s neuroma is a painful condition that affects the ball of the foot.
“Once it flares up, it doesn’t go away,” Trout said. “It calms down at night and when you do baseball activity, it flares up again. It’s just tough. I obviously want to be out there. This procedure today, they say it helps it.”
Trout, who leads the American League in home runs (45) and on-base-plus-slugging percentage (1.083), is hopeful he’ll miss minimal action. He could be back in the lineup as soon as Wednesday, so the foot injury should not derail Trout’s chase for his third MVP award.
It could, however, lead to a different procedure during the offseason.
“It doesn’t go away unless you get it taken out,” Trout said. “We’ll see where it goes.”
Suspended in action
All-Star infielder Tommy La Stella is not as close to returning to action as manager Brad Ausmus said La Stella might be last week. La Stella, who is rehabbing a tibia fracture, feels fine when he swings a bat and does fielding drills, but some movements cause discomfort in his right leg.
“I don’t want to throw a timeline out there and not make it,” he said.
La Stella was in the middle of putting together the best campaign of his six-year career when he fouled a ball off his leg July 2, just one week before he was scheduled to appear in the All-Star game for the first time.
The Angels were hopeful he’d return at the beginning of September, but progress has been slow. La Stella is now just hoping he’ll get a few at-bats before the end of the season so he can figure out what he needs to work on during the winter.
“The swing felt good,” said La Stella, who hit .300 with a career-high 16 home runs and 44 RBIs in 78 games before the injury. “It’s to go out there and get the timing back. Some days are better than others. I’m happy overall with the progress. Hopefully we’re getting closer.”
Catcher Max Stassi has been dealing with an oblique injury for several days. He had imaging done Monday to find out how badly he is hurt. Ausmus said he hadn’t heard results before Monday’s game. … Tuesday’s game against the Indians will be broadcast exclusively on YouTube. Rich Waltz will call the play-by-play alongside Mark Langston and Jim Thome.