Mike Trout said he has concerns, but will play for the Angels this season. He also plans to leave the team when his wife has their baby in a few weeks. Darron Cummings/Associated Press

Mike Trout is going to play ball, at least for the time being.

The Angels outfielder announced his decision with three words, saying, “Obviously, I’m playing,” in a Zoom conference with reporters before the Angels played the Padres in an exhibition Wednesday night. Trout’s wife is expecting the couple’s first child soon and that was the biggest factor in why he had been uncertain about whether to play in an MLB season compressed by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“The last time we talked, I was up in the air about playing,” the three-time American League MVP told reporters (via the Los Angeles Times). “Obviously, I’m playing. It’s been great so far. We had a couple positive (tests) early, but the guys have been respectful of each other. Everyone’s taking responsibility to wear a mask, social distance and be safe.

“I think the biggest concern the whole time was if there’s an outbreak. There hasn’t been one yet. If there was, we would have to evaluate the situation, do what’s right for my family.”

Trout will leave the team to be with his wife, Jessica, when their son is born early next month. And, if there is a further outbreak or if he doesn’t feel safe, he would reconsider whether to play.

The Angels open their 60-game season against the Athletics Friday in Oakland, with no fans in the stands and increased testing the norms for now. There have been reminders about COVID-19 prevention protocols: wearing masks, hand washing, social distancing, staying mostly in the hotel when traveling and avoiding being inside bars and restaurants.


“I told the guys since day one, all it takes is one guy to mess this up,” Trout said. “I was talking (on Tuesday) to a couple of the Dodgers guys – obviously, six feet apart – and it’s gonna be really tough. You have to really (show) respect and be accountable, especially late in season.

“If you bring the virus into the clubhouse when you’re fighting for the playoffs, I can’t even imagine what that would be like. Hopefully, there’s no outbreak. Being at home and controlling the atmosphere is different from traveling to a place like Houston right now, where it’s pretty bad.”

The pandemic isn’t the only difference as he prepares for his ninth full major league season.

“Realizing I’m having a child in a couple of weeks, it’s surreal,” Trout said. “When I first started dating Jess (in high school), we talked about having kids, and now it’s happening.

“We’re very fortunate and blessed. I can’t wait to be a dad. I can’t even describe the emotions of it right now. Seeing Jess’ belly every night, talking to (the baby) . . . he’s kicking and going crazy. I can’t wait to meet him.”

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