ARLINGTON, Texas — Mike Trout essentially conceded the American League most valuable player award to Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera on Sunday, acknowledging that the Angels’ failure to make the playoffs will relegate him to a second-place finish for a second straight year.
“I think it’s going to be another thing like last year,” Trout said before Sunday’s season finale against the Texas Rangers. “I can’t take it away from Cabrera. He won the division and is going to the playoffs, and we’re heading home after the game. That’s a big contribution, being on a winning team.”
Trout entered Sunday leading the league in runs (108) and walks (109), he ranked second in on-base percentage (.431) and triples (nine), third in average (.323) and fourth in slugging percentage (.553). He also has 26 homers and 96 runs batted in.
Though Cabrera didn’t repeat his Triple Crown performance of 2012, he actually had a better season, leading the AL in average (.348), OBP (.442) and slugging (.636), ranking second in homers (44) and RBIs (137) and third in runs (103).
But the Tigers won another AL Central title and will open the division series against Oakland, while Trout’s Angels, for the second straight year, got off to another slow start and fell out of contention by late July.
“It’s a frustrating year from a team standpoint — the slow start hurt us again,” Trout said. “We have to figure out a way to come into the spring and avoid that.”
Trout will return to his home in south New Jersey after Sunday’s game and take a few weeks off before beginning his off-season workout program in late October.
The outfielder created a stir last spring when he reported to camp at a bulky 241 pounds, but he played most of the season at 232 pounds and plans to remain from 225 to 235 pounds over the winter.
“I’m just going to keep doing this — I’m not going to change my approach,” Trout said. “I’m having fun. I’m happy with what I’m doing. Staying positive.
"It’s a grind. Keeping my body healthy is the main thing. Staying on the field. It all comes down to making the playoffs. That was our goal, and we fell short.”