Torii Hunter cites inexperience for Angels' slump
Although Manager Mike Scioscia has blamed the Angels' recent woes on a lack of production at the plate, especially with runners in scoring position, veteran Torii Hunter offered a different explanation Tuesday.
Seven players on the Angels roster are 25 or younger, and 11 have fewer than two full seasons in the major leagues. Across the field at Fenway Park, the Red Sox, who have beaten the Angels 15 times in 16 games since being swept in the 2009 playoffs, have 15 players 30 or older.
For Hunter, the change in the Angels clubhouse the past two seasons is telling.
"We were a little more mature. Older guys, a mixture of young guys," Hunter said. "But we've got a lot of new faces and a lot of guys with less than five years in the big leagues. And they're still trying to find their way.
"So consistency could be a factor in that."
However, many of the Angels' most productive players this season have been the young, inexperienced ones. Rookie Mark Trumbo leads the team with 15 runs batted in, while Peter Bourjos (.295) and Hank Conger (.271) are among the leading hitters. Hunter, meanwhile, is batting .246 and Vernon Wells, the highest-paid player in franchise history, is hitting .176.
The disparity is even more telling with runners in scoring position. Hunter, Wells, Howie Kendrick, Bobby Abreu and Mathis are all hitting under .215 with runners in scoring position, while Trumbo, Conger and Bourjos are batting .260 or better.
-- Kevin Baxter in Boston
Photo: Torii Hunter. Credit: Kim Klement / US Presswire