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Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Trout’s timeline for return unknown as he battles ‘rare condition’ in back | The Athletic

Frostad was asked why the significant optimism earlier this month of a quick return has now led to a condition – costovertebral dysfunction at T5 – where there’s more concern.

“This is a pretty rare condition that he has right now in his back,” Frostad said. “The doctor (Robert Watkins), who is one of the most well-known spine surgeons in the country, if not the world, doesn’t see a lot of these.

“And for it to happen in a baseball player, we just have to take into consideration what he puts himself through with hitting, swinging on a daily basis, just getting prepared. And then also playing in the outfield. … There’s so many things that can aggravate it. But this doctor hasn’t seen a lot of it.”

Burn it down. Burn it all down.

Sporting News free article link.

Hombre Brotani Posted: July 27, 2022 at 04:30 PM | 41 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: angels, injury, mike trout, there is no god

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   1. The Duke Posted: July 27, 2022 at 05:08 PM (#6088644)
Apparently all players who are HOFrs after ten years end up playing their final ten years as shells of their former selves for the Angels. I guess this means Soto will end up there in about 6 years and proceed to collapse
   2. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 27, 2022 at 05:29 PM (#6088652)
Seeing a spine surgeon has to be concerning, as is the Angels not ruling out Trout missing the rest of the season:
Asked if there’s a chance he wouldn’t play again this season, Frostad said, “We hope not. I don’t think we’re at that point where we’re going to make that decision.”
Sounds somewhat ominous, although with quite a bit of uncertainty. Maybe rest will do the trick.
   3. Walt Davis Posted: July 27, 2022 at 05:31 PM (#6088653)
If swinging is a problem then, well ... but if the swing is OK then fortunately baseball has a position that doesn't require fielding and nobody cares all that much how quickly you can run the bases. Unfortunately that position is currently filled by Ohtani.

Here's hoping it is manageable!
   4. sunday silence (again) Posted: July 27, 2022 at 06:04 PM (#6088660)
this condition seems to impact the connection between the vertebrae and ribs and it is apparently needed to stabilize the body as it rotates. So its very concerning.
   5. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: July 27, 2022 at 08:08 PM (#6088677)
If he quits now, he'll maintain the 1.000 OPS, eighth-highest in history.
   6. Walt Davis Posted: July 27, 2022 at 09:01 PM (#6088695)
Trout doing his part to talk Brohtani back off the ledge, says it's no big deal.
   7. baxter Posted: July 27, 2022 at 10:22 PM (#6088709)
2. Not just a spine surgeon, but yes, probably the top sports back place in the world. Watkins is the son of the founder, who was originally at Kerlan Jobe. The father has retired; Dr. David Chang is another clinical partner there. Clayton Kershaw went there when he first had his back troubles (he did not have surgery).

There is no better place for treatment for spinal related issues.

They see regular folks also, but that clinic has picture upon picture of athletes who have received treatment there.

If Dr. Watkins hasn't seen it, you can bet it's rare.
   8. Banta Posted: July 27, 2022 at 11:23 PM (#6088717)
How disappointing. Can’t say that I’m very bullish on his chances to ever be MIKE TROUT again. Hopefully I’m wrong, but I can’t think of a worse vague injury/condition for a hitter.

I think people barely realize what a historic talent he was already and if he has a Griffeyesque (for a random example) back-half, I wonder what his overall general perception will be… maybe not even as high as Griffey Jr, undeservingly.
   9. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: July 28, 2022 at 09:59 AM (#6088741)
a Griffeyesque back-half

Well, Griffey from 2001-10 was roughly 1000 G, 4000 AB, 900 H, 200 HR...and about 8 WAR. Total.

Staple that onto Trout's career to date and you've got about 2360 G, 9000 AB, 2400 H, 530 HR and 88 WAR. Solid, but not spectacular. He'll still go into the HOF, probably pretty quickly, because voters will remember what a stud he was. But, oh, what might have been!
   10. JJ1986 Posted: July 28, 2022 at 11:03 AM (#6088744)
probably pretty quickly
probably
   11. The Duke Posted: July 28, 2022 at 11:51 AM (#6088748)
I just don't understand teams taking to the press about players health. The cardinals did the same thing to Flaherty this year by disclosing he had a SLAP tear in his shoulder even though that wasn't the source of his injury. Looked a lot like the Cards trying to screw with his free agent value.

What could possibly be gained by talking to the press about Trouts injury

I continue to find it odd that players are basically treated like race horses when it comes to how teams talk about them

   12. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 28, 2022 at 11:56 AM (#6088749)
What could possibly be gained by talking to the press about Trouts injury

I continue to find it odd that players are basically treated like race horses when it comes to how teams talk about them


The fans want to know why the best player on the planet isn't playing. He's signed through 2030. What harm can it do?
   13. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 28, 2022 at 12:30 PM (#6088752)
The fans want to know why the best player on the planet isn't playing.
Exactly, The choice is to either tell the truth (at least in general terms), lie, or say nothing, although the word inevitably gets out, at least to insiders, and eventually someone will put such knowledge to use with one of MLB’s official gaming partners.
   14. The Duke Posted: July 28, 2022 at 01:27 PM (#6088754)
They can't say " he's got a bad back" or "upper body injury " like they do in hockey?

In hockey, people go out with injuries all the time and they don't describe them - nobody is worse off for not knowing.

   15. BDC Posted: July 28, 2022 at 01:29 PM (#6088755)
Well, medical science in the United States has advanced somewhat beyond "rub some snow on it."
   16. McCoy Posted: July 28, 2022 at 01:29 PM (#6088756)
Yeah but nobody cares about hockey
   17. Itchy Row Posted: July 28, 2022 at 02:08 PM (#6088761)
Why does everything good have a rare back condition?
   18. Harmon "Thread Killer" Microbrew Posted: July 28, 2022 at 04:00 PM (#6088779)
Staple that onto Trout's career to date and you've got about 2360 G, 9000 AB, 2400 H, 530 HR and 88 WAR. Solid, but not spectacular.


For reference

Chipper Jones: 2499 G, 8984 AB, 2726 H, 468 HR and 85.3 WAR.
   19. Walt Davis Posted: July 28, 2022 at 04:50 PM (#6088785)
Well, Griffey from 2001-10 was roughly 1000 G, 4000 AB, 900 H, 200 HR...and about 8 WAR. Total.

Griffey's WAR was kinda killed by his defense. From 31-35, he still hit pretty well (when he could step in the box) with a 130 OPS+ but, per bWAR, he had the defensive value of a DH while playing CF. Maybe if the Reds had moved him to 1B or traded him to an AL team to DH, Griffey would have been able to play more (and maybe hit better).

That 130 OPS+ might sound "bad" but Griffey had OPS+ of 139 and 133 at ages 29-30 so it's possible the bat had already dropped from its peak before the injuries took over and those injuries didn't really affect his bat (they cratered his defense just everybody ignored that). Everything started going wrong at 36 but that's true for lots of players.

For now, we can hope that Trout will be at least Frank Thomas (23 WAR 31+) or Chili Davis (18 WAR) or Mantle (20 WAR) or Winfield (27 from 31-40 ... durable but then missed all of age 37 and half of 38) with the possiblity of Edgar. Unfortunately "back problems" bring Mattingly to mind too.

   20. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: July 28, 2022 at 05:39 PM (#6088791)
Turns out that costovertebral disfunction is the reason we can't have nice things.

The second half of Trout's career wasn't going to be as good as the first half. That's just not how these things work. But man, Chili Davis comps for Trout are very discouraging.
   21. Jack Sommers Posted: July 28, 2022 at 06:27 PM (#6088801)
I miss how Trout and Mantle's careers were almost mirror images of each other for a while:

Thru age 26

Thru age 27

Thru age 28

But despite the OPS+ being the same still (176) , Thru age 30 Mickey has left Trout in the dust now as the PA Gap has climbed to over 1200

Not as healthy as Mickey Mantle over the 2nd half of his career is not something I expected for Trout
   22. Walt Davis Posted: July 28, 2022 at 08:41 PM (#6088814)
Not as healthy as Mickey Mantle over the 2nd half of his career is not something I expected for Trout

This is partly because Mantle's durability is kinda under-rated. He was extremely durable with >6300 PAs from 20-29 (in shorter seasons). He's 7th all-time in PAs through age 29. Then he never missed a full season and was able to drag those weary bones out there for over 500 PAs even in his last two seasons, so 3200 PAs from 30-36 ... about 5 full seasons of play in 7 years really isn't that bad. Reggie played forever and is still only about one season ahead over those ages. It was about 400 more PA than Griffey, about 450 more than Reggie Smith.

And don't go dissin' Chili. He's one of those guys who found his stroke at 30. From ages 31-37, he had a 131 OPS+ in 4000 PA, mainly dragged down by a bad age 33 season. Sure, Mike Trout 135 OPS+ DH is not what we're hoping for but hopefully it will be enough to get him to 100 WAR and 500 HRs, probably 1500 R. (He has only a very slim chance at 3000 hits and a better but still small chance at 1500 RBI even if he ages well.) I put him in as a "you don't have to be as good as Frank Thomas to be productive in your 30s" example ... plus his nickname is Chili and he has a great last name too. I also considered Rico Carty for that slot. :-)
   23. BDC Posted: July 28, 2022 at 10:08 PM (#6088821)
The guy you don't want as a comp for Mike Trout going forward is Charlie Keller – not at Trout's level, but a truly outstanding player in his 20s; then back problems, and Keller could never stay in the lineup in his 30s.
   24. Walt Davis Posted: July 28, 2022 at 10:59 PM (#6088826)
Of course Keller's 30s were 70 years ago so hopefully Dr Watkins and ... hmmmm ... Mike Frostad, ATC, CAT(C) ... he's on LinkedIn ... know a few things that Stubby McWhorter didn't know ca 1950.
   25. Jack Sommers Posted: July 29, 2022 at 10:27 AM (#6088866)
Walt, yes, the reality of Mickey's decline years, vs the oft repeated "what might have been" narrative is what I was referring to.

165 OPS+ after age 30 6th best all time, (minimum 3000 PA)

   26. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 29, 2022 at 10:36 AM (#6088867)

Another guy who was on a HOF track through age 30 and then was completely derailed by back injuries is David Wright. His last "full" season (134 games) was at 31, and he only played 77 more games after that before retiring.
   27. baxter Posted: July 29, 2022 at 10:39 PM (#6088940)
26. Yes, also Al Rosen, back injuries. Don't know that he would have made the HOF in any event.
Mantle's a player would like to have seen with today's medical procedures; such as arthroscopic surgery.

   28. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 30, 2022 at 12:12 PM (#6088983)
Walt, yes, the reality of Mickey's decline years, vs the oft repeated "what might have been" narrative is what I was referring to.

165 OPS+ after age 30 6th best all time, (minimum 3000 PA)


I think Mantle's offense was hugely under-rated at the time because he didn't do it with an elite BA. People probably thought he wasn't as good a hitter as DiMaggio. If he could have done the proverbially swap of 50 BB for 50 singles, people would have thought he was the second coming of the Babe.
   29. cardsfanboy Posted: July 30, 2022 at 12:56 PM (#6088986)
I just don't understand teams taking to the press about players health. The cardinals did the same thing to Flaherty this year by disclosing he had a SLAP tear in his shoulder even though that wasn't the source of his injury. Looked a lot like the Cards trying to screw with his free agent value.

What could possibly be gained by talking to the press about Trouts injury

I continue to find it odd that players are basically treated like race horses when it comes to how teams talk about them


I'm like you, I don't need or want to know anything more than 1. back problem 2. when he should be back 3. whether it's chronic or not etc... just the basics. But there is a point to be made that by putting the full name/condition out there, it might raise awareness for something and that in turn can eventually push some more research into it or some available research on something parallel might be useful to treating this that someone has missed etc.
   30. Ron J Posted: July 30, 2022 at 01:25 PM (#6088988)
Mantle himself cited the .237 batting average. Though he did say that he's have considered playing in 1969 if they hadn't been clear he'd play first. He hated playing first and felt the stretching required was much harder on his back than playing left.
   31. sunday silence (again) Posted: July 30, 2022 at 01:35 PM (#6088991)
could they have traded Mantle to say the Expos for that season?
   32. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: July 30, 2022 at 01:47 PM (#6088992)
One of my favourite OOTP what-ifs is unretiring Mantle. In one version, I had him become a first baseman/coach with the expansion Royals, who made Mick their first DH in 1973. He lasted all the way to 1976, getting to 3,000 hits and passing Mays' 660 HR (but not the Babe). He even led KC to a World Series triumph in '75!
   33. Ron J Posted: July 30, 2022 at 02:26 PM (#6088994)
#31 They could have tried. Pretty sure he'd have retired. Same with trading him to any expansion team.

Odd, I remember the Rusty Staub trade as being for a player who refused to report to Montreal. In fact Donn Clendenon refused to report to Houston so instead the Expos sent Jack Billingham, Skip Guinn and $100K to replace him in the deal (which also included Jesus Alou).

Then the Expos moved Clendenon for Steve Renko, Kevin Collins and two guys who never made it to the majors. Which feels like a pretty steep decline in value in a fairly short period. I mean Renko and Billingham aren't that far off. Guinn and Collins are who cares, but $100k was a non-trivial amount of cash back then.
   34. sunday silence (again) Posted: July 30, 2022 at 05:11 PM (#6089008)
maybe they were afraid they would lose out on Staub who was about to put up 6 WAR for the next three seasons? and CLendenon was putting up the worse numbers of his career at that pt. when he was traded to NYM.
   35. Ron J Posted: July 30, 2022 at 05:19 PM (#6089009)
#34 Oh both sides were eager to close the deal. No idea why, but the Astros really wanted to move Staub and the Expos really wanted him. So when Clendenon refused to report they quickly came to an agreement.

And I think his simply refusing to go to Houston damaged Clendenon's value. Malcontent and all that.
   36. sunday silence (again) Posted: July 30, 2022 at 05:22 PM (#6089011)
what was the deal with his fielding? He puts up a string of negative TZ numbers at first base his whole career, except for 1968 when he manages +12 runs. At first base no less. What happened? He suddenly became Keith HErnandez for one season?
   37. Ron J Posted: July 30, 2022 at 05:55 PM (#6089013)
I'm not sure I'd trust single year TZ numbers. And his OF numbers have a couple of illusions. Astrodome -- unusual amount of room for balls to drop in. Jarry Parc -- kinda small. Has to have cost a few fielding opportunities every year.

In the end I think Jay Buhner might be a reasonable comp as a fielder. He threw well but was among the slower RF. He had a very strong arm for a 1B. Might allow him to make some plays that other 1B couldn't make in that one year.

By the end of his career he'd lost enough speed that his arm didn't matter. You kind of had to DH him.
   38. sunday silence (again) Posted: July 30, 2022 at 07:38 PM (#6089023)
I was talking about Clendenons fielding if that wasn't clear. Its a shame Staubs arm was useless in the 73 series. Ths mets OF was a complete mess which is how Mays ended up in cf in game 7. The mets could have won that.
   39. Ron J Posted: July 30, 2022 at 08:02 PM (#6089026)
Ah Clendenon. Well he did start an unusually high number of plays in 1968. No idea why. The staff did feature a lot of guys with good stuff (Veale, Blass, Moose and Bunning) and just maybe they happened to induce an unusually high number of G3.

As I said, I don't worry much about single year totalzone results. I know his rep while active wasn't positive. Mostly due to a high number of errors in 1965/66. He did have a reasonable arm for a 1B and was more mobile than a lot of 1B. If you've played strat, he's the kind of guy who in his good years would get a 3 with a high e rating.
   40. sunday silence (again) Posted: July 30, 2022 at 08:12 PM (#6089027)
speaking of 1bmen, Josh Bell seems to have better fielding numbers this time around in WAS. I hope he's turned it around seems like a nice guy. Well he's not at the +12 level but he's gone from some very sorry looking negatives to at least being in positive territory for the first time in his career (last season was his first positive def. number).
   41. Steve Sparks Flying Everywhere Posted: July 31, 2022 at 01:15 AM (#6089051)
It turns out his nickname, the Millville Meteor, was a little too on the nose…

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