All that Joe Maddon talk about Mike Trout playing in left field? Forget about it

Angels star Mike Trout throws at spring training on Monday.
Angels star Mike Trout throws at spring training on Monday. Trout “can see down the road possibly moving to the corner,” but he’s planning to play in center field this season.
(Matt York / Associated Press)

So, about that Mike Trout switch from center field to left field?

Never mind.

One day after manager Angels manager Joe Maddon floated the possibility of moving Trout off center field to ease the stress on the three-time American League most valuable player’s body, the idea was scrapped during a lengthy Monday morning meeting between Trout, Maddon and general manager Perry Minasian.

“We’re gonna put him in center field,” Maddon said before the team’s first spring training workout. “He feels really good about it, very strongly about it. He feels like he’s in great shape, he’s lost weight. Everything is in order, so he’s going to play center field.”


And that’s that?

“That’s that,” Maddon said.

Angels manager Joe Maddon says Mike Trout could move from center field to a corner spot in the outfield. Trout missed most of last season with a calf injury.

March 13, 2022

Trout, in the fourth year of a 12-year, $426.5-million contract, expects to move to a corner spot at some point, and it appeared a right calf strain that sidelined him for most of 2021 might expedite that transition. But Trout, 30, made it clear to his bosses Monday that the move would be premature this spring.

“I love center field,” Trout said. “I have nine years left on the contract, so I can see down the road possibly moving to the corner. They tell me it’s less on your body and stuff. They’re just trying to keep me out there for 162 games. But coming in, I want to play center field.”

Trout said he spoke “briefly” with Maddon about the idea on the bench during a game last season, but he didn’t know the Angels were seriously considering it this spring until he saw it mentioned on social media Sunday.

“It was definitely surprising, for sure,” Trout said. “I heard about it when someone tweeted it out. We had a good, lengthy conversation about it, and we’re on the same page. … I just feel comfortable [in center], natural.”

If there was any miscommunication, or lack of communication, between the Angels and Trout, blame the 99-day lockout, Maddon said.

“We were not permitted to talk to people, and I didn’t get to him in time, and it was just a conversation we were having,” Maddon said. “But the conclusion was, we always had to talk to Mike about it and see how he feels, and he feels really good.”

Does Maddon regret that Trout first learned of the idea on Twitter?

“There’s no other way to find out anything anymore, right?” Maddon said. “We talked about it. He’s fine.”


Trout injured his calf last May 17, suffered a setback in late-July and didn’t return. He said he hasn’t felt tightness or discomfort in the calf since mid-October and was able to complete his normal winter workout regimen.

“I feel great,” said Trout, who, at 6 feet 2 and 237 pounds, is about six pounds under his usual playing weight. “This is the best I’ve felt in a while. No issues with the calf. Don’t feel it at all. It was a great offseason, no setbacks, nothing.”

The Angels, derailed by far too many injuries to key players during their seven-year playoff drought, made several changes in their medical and training staffs this winter, hiring Mike Frostad from Atlanta as head athletic trainer and Matt Tenney from Arizona as strength and conditioning coach.

Mike Trout runs the bases during spring training workouts Monday.
(Matt York / Associated Press)

Trout plans to huddle early in camp with the new staff to devise programs that will help keep him on the field. If the Angels are going to contend in 2022, they’ll need Trout and third baseman Anthony Rendon, who had season-ending right hip surgery last August, in peak form.

“Mike is gonna throw some stuff at me,” Trout said. “I’m sure we’ll have a great plan and go from there.”


Trout said he “enjoyed every minute” of his offseason in Millville, N.J., with his 1½-year-old son, Beckham, who is “running around, climbing on things, talking … catching fish, hitting golf balls, putting balls on the tee for me,” he said. “Fatherhood is the best.”

But Trout was saddened by last month’s trial in which former Angels communications director Eric Kay was convicted of supplying the drugs that led to the death of pitcher Tyler Skaggs in 2019.

“It was tough for everybody, the baseball family in general,” Trout said. “It’s a very sad situation.”

Private equity firms aren’t getting involved to run MLB teams. With revenues skyrocketing, they’re buying in to make money on the investment.

March 14, 2022

Five former Angels players — Matt Harvey, Blake Parker, Mike Morin, Cam Bedrosian and C.J. Cron — testified during the trial that they also used opioids while with the Angels.

Did Trout, in his 11th full season, have any sense for what was going on in the clubhouse at the time?

“I did not,” he said. “I did not.”


Rendon and closer Raisel Iglesias have not yet reported to camp. Maddon said both are dealing with “family” issues and are expected to arrive soon. … The Angels will open Cactus League play Friday against Oakland in Mesa, Ariz. They’ll play Arizona at home on Saturday and Seattle in Peoria, Ariz., on Sunday. ... Bally Sports West announced it will televise all 18 of the Angels’ spring training games.