Despite Mike Trout’s injury, Angels players appear all-in on head-first slides – Los Angeles Times

Cameron Maybin wanted to please his new employer, so when the Angels suggested during spring training that he slide feet-first on stolen-base attempts in an effort to avoid injury, he complied.

“I tried it twice,” said Maybin, who suffered a torn ligament in his left thumb on a head-first slide into second last August while playing for the Detroit Tigers. “I got thrown out twice, and I was, like, over it. It’s too slow. It literally slows me down.”

The Angels, like most major league organizations, encourage players to slide feet first because it’s considered safer than sliding head first, a belief that was reinforced last week when star center fielder Mike Trout suffered a torn left-thumb ligament on a head-first slide into second.

A head-first slide exposes the fingers, hands and wrists to injury, and if a player slides beyond or away from the bag, he can jar an elbow or a shoulder while grabbing the base to stop his momentum.