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Angels superstar Mike Trout (calf) out 6-8 weeks

Mike Trout, angels

The Los Angeles Angels recently released Albert Pujols, who was well past his prime. The Halos still have two brilliant baseball players. Shohei Ohtani is entering his prime, and Mike Trout is squarely in the middle of his prime.

The problem for the Angels: Trout won’t play for the next month and a half at the very least.

The Angels and the rest of Major League Baseball learned on Tuesday that Trout will be out for at least six weeks with a calf strain. He could miss the rest of the first half and not return until after the All-Star break.

It is a devastating blow for the Angels, who are looking up at three teams in the competitive American League West. The Oakland Athletics and Houston Astros have gotten off to very good starts this season, and the Seattle Mariners are hanging around the .500 mark with their promising crop of young prospects.

The Angels, at 18-22 entering Tuesday’s slate of MLB games, have the luminous stars who fill highlight reels. Trout and Ohtani are worth the price of admission, given the amazing things they can do on a baseball diamond. However, the Halos don’t have the depth on their roster — not in the batting order, not in the starting rotation, and not in the bullpen — they need in order to field a title-contending ballclub.

Oakland and Houston are clearly a notch or two better than the Angels at this point, and the Mariners are steadily building a team which could be ready to compete for titles in 2023. The hiring of former world champion manager Joe Maddon was a splashy move by L.A.’s American League franchise, but the pieces on the roster aren’t there for Maddon to maximize.

The schedule does not line up well for the Angels with Mike Trout out of the lineup for at least the next six weeks, which run through (at minimum) Tuesday, June 29.

The Angels play 10 games against the Athletics in the next month. They then have a seven-game road trip against the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg and the Yankees in New York at the very end of June. That trip ends on July 1.

Mike Trout’s absence figures to loom large for the Angels in these next six weeks.