There are players you can replace, and players you can’t. Mike Trout falls within the second category. The Angels outfielder is a two-time MVP, and was well on his way to a third—leading the American League in on-base percentage, slugging percentage and OPS. His total Wins Above Replacement is currently at 3.5, a number on pace for another 9+ WAR season. Those are numbers you’re not going to be able to triage with less talented veterans and a farm system that is one of the weakest in MLB.
A baseball team’s success is not built on one player. The Anaheim Angels might have the lost the best player in baseball, but there are other players who can step up. Albert Pujols isn’t the same player he once was, but he’s swinging a good bat, reaching base nearly one out of every three at-bats, and hitting two home runs in his last five games. Andrelton Simmons is also capable of carrying the load, batting .413 with eight RBIs and two homers in the last 11 games.
You can’t replace Mike Trout, but it’s not impossible to win without him. That’s the beauty of sports—nothing is certain until you actually play the game. Everyone is counting out Anaheim, but they can use this injury as a rallying cry to come together and play the best baseball of their lives. The Angels may not win a World Series, but they’ll be fine while Trout is recovering.