Angels' Mike Trout to play this season; Anthony Rendon (oblique) still out

ByAlden Gonzalez ESPN logo
Thursday, July 23, 2020

Mike Trout, initially hesitant about baseball's plans to stage a season amid the coronavirus pandemic, expressed some optimism with the season opener approaching.

"I'm playing," Trout said Wednesday in a video conference with media two days before his Los Angeles Angels open on the road against the Oakland Athletics.

Trout's wife, Jessica, is due to give birth to the couple's first child, a boy, on Aug. 3. Details have yet to be worked out, but Trout expects to be present for the delivery.

The due date lands on an off day for the Angels, right before a six-game road trip to Seattle and Arlington, Texas.

Trout said he is worried about how COVID-19 might spread when teams begin to travel, but he said he is generally pleased with the way the process has gone so far. He doesn't believe any of his Angels teammates have tested positive for the coronavirus since in-take screening concluded.

"The guys have been respectful of others," Trout said. "Everyone's been taking responsibility to wear a mask and social distance and just be safe, and we're seeing that. The results are there. Just gotta pick it up and stay on it when we go on the road. Obviously, people say that traveling you can get it. Going to different cities where it's really bad right now, it's gonna be tough. But as of right now, everything is great."

Trout hasn't won a playoff game in his otherwise illustrious career, but the three-time MVP resides at the center of an Angels team bursting with star power. The team's big offseason acquisition, Anthony Rendon, is currently nursing an oblique injury that is improving but will nonetheless keep him out for at least the first two games.

Angels manager Joe Maddon said Rendon is "on a pretty good path," and the team hopes he will return before the opening four-game series wraps.

The biggest concern -- for the Angels and every other team -- is the possibility of an outbreak of coronavirus cases, which can be prevented only with unrelenting discipline.

Trout is worried about testing positive and passing the virus to his wife, which would at the very least force each of them to quarantine away from their newborn child. Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder A.J. Pollock went through a similar situation during the shutdown, as he went 14 days without seeing his premature daughter after testing positive. His wife had to quarantine for 10 days, even though she didn't test positive.

"If there was an outbreak, we'd have to evaluate the situation and go from there," Trout said. "I gotta do what's right for the family. But everything's been great so far. I've been locked in on baseball. It's a little bit different since last time I talked to you, seeing what the protocols are and what we're doing. In between innings the other night, I was sitting in the front row of a stadium, not in a dugout. It was kind of different. But that's the new norm."

Trout went 0-for-2 with a strikeout in Wednesday night's exhibition game against San Diego. The Angels' home opener is Tuesday against Seattle.

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