Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout confirmed Wednesday that he would be playing in the 2020 MLB shortened season. After previously expressing his concerns about playing in the 60-game season amid the coronavirus pandemic, Trout announced a final decision with a simple message.
Trout, who turns 29 next month, is expecting his first child with his wife Jessica in August. The due date for the couple's son is Aug. 3. He previously said that a coronavirus outbreak would make him reassess his status, but he's encouraged by the health and safety protocols that the league has in place. The three-time AL MVP intends to leave the Angels for the birth of his first child in early August, and then he will have to clear league protocol (two negative COVID-19 tests) before he's allowed to rejoin the team.
"Last time I talked I was up in the air. I'm playing," Trout said.
Trout's concerns are valid, but the league's latest coronavirus testing results were promising. One week before 2020 Opening Day, there was a rate of 0.05 percent for positive tests.
"Honestly, I still don't feel that comfortable with the baby coming," Trout said earlier this month. "There's a lot of things on my mind. I'm trying to be the safest and most cautious way to get through the season. It's going to be tough. I've got to be really cautious these next couple weeks. I don't want to test positive. I don't want to bring it back to my wife. It's a tough situation we're in."
The 2019 American League MVP hit a career-high 45 home runs with 104 RBI last season.
After a nearly four-month delay to the start of the 2020 season due to the pandemic, MLB is set to return on Thursday with a two-game nightstand; the Yankees will face the Nationals in D.C. while the Giants will face the Dodgers in Los Angeles. Meanwhile, Trout and the Angels will make their 2020 season debut Friday against the Athletics at O.co Coliseum.
The 60-game regular-season sprint is set to finish on Sunday, Sept. 27. Teams will play "regional" schedules in 2020. They'll face the other four teams in their division 10 times each and play 20 games against the interleague teams in their region (for example, teams in the National League East will face American League East teams).