Keep Him In Coach. We Need Him to Play.

Hel-lo gor-geous bats! Where have you been all my season? Well, looking at the stats for the last few games, they’ve been in AA Arkansas with Mike Trout. Check this out:

The Angels have played ten games since Mike Trout was recalled from the minors and in that time they are 5 and 0 in games where Trout has started and 2 and 3 in games where Trout did not play or entered the game as a pinch hitter in the 8th inning. And one of those losses? That would be Friday night against Texas. Upon entering the game in the 8th inning, Trout continued a rally begun by Howie Kendrick. His hit moved Howie into position to score on Mark Trumbo’s line drive single and set the stage for Russell Branyan’s three run homer. Imagine what could have been if Trout had started the game?

No, I’m not saying Mike Trout is the chosen one, a one man offense here to single handedly save the Angels. But I do think he is proving himself to be the missing spark this team needs. It’s not that the Angels don’t have any bats, it’s that we don’t have enough bats and that there are far too many dead spots, all but guaranteed outs, dotted through the lineup in between them. How many times have we watched a mini rally start only to die without a single man scoring? Or bases loaded with one out turning into one measly run followed by someone grounding into a double play? This happens to every team, but it happens to the Angels so often that we’ve grown to expect it every inning this season. How excited do we Angels fans get when the team scores just four runs? ‘Nuff said.

Mike Trout waits in the hole in his second major league game. Angels vs. Mariners, July 9, 2011. Photo by This is a very simple game...

But what if we had just one more clutch bat in between our existing bats, someone to keep the offensive outburst going once Macier or Bourjos or Howie starts it? Someone to knock Torii Hunter in when he gets on base? Heck, just one more guy not grounding into an inning ending double play? Well, we’d have our sweep of the Orioles, or last night, or our win against Texas on Saturday, or what Friday night against Texas very easily could have been if we’d had just one more clutch bat in the game a few innings earlier.

Yes, Mike Trout is young, not even a month past 20. But he doesn’t seem overwhelmed in the slightest. In addition to his bat makes good decisions in the outfield, has a fantastic glove, runs great routes for the ball and, with his speed, is a perfect complement to Peter Bourjos in the outfield and a terror on the base paths. And the frightening part is, he’s still growing into his skill set and showing a lot of improvement, even just since his last trip up to the majors. His arm looks a little stronger and then there’s that bat! Trout returned to the majors with a .163 batting average – hey, he only played in a handful of games on either side of the All-Star Break and, like a lot of rookies, it took him a few at bats first to connect and then to stop hitting it right at people. After five additional full games in the majors and two single at-bat pinch hit appearances, Trout has dramatically increased his batting average to .246. Between that and two homeruns and five RBIs last night, making Trout the youngest Angel to have a two-homerun game, I think it’s safe to say he is no longer overly impressed by Major League pitching. What do you think?

So, this post was originally going to be a plea to Mike Scioscia to put Mike Trout back in the lineup tonight. Because, of course, he reads this blog and takes my opinions into careful consideration before making lineup decisions, why do you ask? ;) But, much to my delight, they just posted the lineup and Trout is already there!!! And suddenly I am even more excited for this game. Go Angels!!

So, I was wondering instead…Sosh, pretty please, with zesty homemade marinara sauce and good imported parmesan on top, can we keep him in the lineup now??? He’ll be the offense’s new best fri-end. Thanks, ever so!

- An Angels Fan on the Edge of Her Seat

10 Comments

I’m really glad Trout is making an impact. With all his tools, the thing I was most impressed with when I met him was his attitude. I can see this kid becoming an extremely popular player, even outside of Angels fans. As a Tiger fan myself, I’m all too aware of having dead bats in the lineup. Detroit has a handfull of players that are all but a sure out. At least teach these how to bunt, or something, to make their at bat productive.
–Mike
‘Minoring In Baseball’

I’m glad to hear confirmation that Trout has a good attitude, Mike. I remember that you’ve met him before. I think he is going to be a key part of the team and beloved by fans for seasons to come. He just dove right in and got to work and the work has been impressive. As far as dead weight goes, maybe some of yours can be taught to bunt but some of ours can’t even do that right, right now. Hopefully they have a massive breakthrough and soon.

– Kristen

I love your enthusiasm!!!! Trout is going to be a stud. He needs to keep playing….especially while he’s hot!

Ron

Thanks Ron! Yeah, I think he’s going to be a stud too, and he already seems to fit in well with everyone else on the field and in the dugout.

– Kristen

Sometimes the energy a rookie brings is just what a veteran lineup needs for a playoff push. K-rod (back before he had a habit of punching people) was just what the Angels needed in 2002, maybe Trout will do the exact same thing in 2011.

http://bluejaysnest.mlblogs.com/

LOL Bluejaysnest! I think K-Rod may have always had a habit of punching people. He was just smart enough to keep it out of the team family room until last season. He was always kind of a pouty dick though, just our electrifying closer pouty dick which always seems better at the time.

– Kristen

Nice. Tempt Sosh with some home cooked Italian fare. Very smart. I understand your wanting Trout in there. Meanwhile, I can’t believe the Torii Hunter resurgence. Dude still has some pop!!!
–Jeff

Jeff – Hey, so far it seems to be working. :) I am thrilled for Torii. Honestly, I think the first half of the season was mental. Age doesn’t appear to have affected his pop at all. Now his base running is another story. Torii needs to rethink his base steaing strategy a lot and stop getting picked off all the time.

– Kristen

I love Trout in the lineup like everyone else, but keep him out of center field. That’s Bourjos’s spot. :) I have the biggest crush on him. Like every other teenage girl Angels fan out there. Though I’m from DC and I’m pretty sure I’m the only East Coast Halos fan that hasn’t ever lived in California. (My dad grew up 3 miles from Anaheim Stadium and raised me very well.)

I feel pretty bad for Scioscia (that is the biggest pain to spell) because he has 3 spots for OF but so many amazing players to put in there. Things are gonna get sticky once Morales is back because now Trumbo is here and doing pretty damn well (minus the recent slump, but hey, he’s still playing great). I don’t envy those coaching decisions.

Thanks for dropping by my blog and commenting, Laura! An Angels fan in D.C. Very cool! Your dad definitely raised you right. :) I completely agree. Bourjos is our best centerfield option. He has the better arm and he calls the shots out there very well and getting better everyday. With Bourjos in center and Trout in left and sometimes right, and any of our other options filling in the other corner, I loooooooove our outfield! So much speed and talent. I do hope Kendrys comes back next season but I imagine it’s going to be a while before he’s an everyday first baseman again. Foot and ankle injuries are the worst. I think Trumbo will have the position for a while and I would love to see him try his hand at third at some point. It’s a crowded roster at some positions. I agree, these are good problems to have but it still has got to be tough to be Scioscia.

– Kristen

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