Izturis, Trout on bench for Angels' series opener against Yankees
The Angels are 19-4 in games 20-year-old outfielder Mike Trout has started this season. Infielder Maicer Izturis has multi-hit games in six of his last nine starts and hit a game-winning, two-run double in the eighth inning of Wednesday night's 3-1 win over the Twins.
Neither is in the lineup for Friday night's game against the New York Yankees at Angel Stadium in Anaheim.
Manager Mike Scioscia is starting Alberto Callaspo over Izturis because the third baseman has four hits, including a home run, in eight career at-bats against Yankees right-hander Bartolo Colon, and Izturis, a switch-hitter, is batting only .259 against right-handers. Izturis, who is hitting .315 against left-handers, will start against Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia on Saturday night.
"We're trying to keep guys fresh, and we're looking for production, and Alberto has had some decent looks against Bartolo," Scioscia said. "Izzy is doing a great job against left-handers, and he'll start [Saturday]."
Since he was recalled from double-A Arkansas on Aug. 19, Trout has made seven of his 11 starts against left-handers, so his absence from the lineup Friday night wasn't that much of a surprise. Trout is also hitless in his last 12 at-bats since his three-hit game against Minnesota last Saturday, his average falling from .267 to .230.
"Like any young hitter who comes up, it doesn't take long for scouts and teams to make adjustments against him; that's going to happen," Scioscia said. "Now Mike will start to understand what pitchers are doing a little bit, and hopefully he'll make some adjustments."
Ace Jered Weaver, who will start for the Angels, will look to snap a five-start slump in which he has given up 22 earned runs in 29 2/3 innings. The Angels are 21-10 in their last 31 games against the Yankees at home, and since 2000, they are the only team in the American League with a winning record (56-49) against the Yankees.
The Angels lineup: SS Erick Aybar, 2B Howie Kendrick, DH Bobby Abreu, RF Torii Hunter, 1B Mark Trumbo, 3B Alberto Callaspo, LF Vernon Wells, CF Peter Bourjos, C Jeff Mathis, P Jered Weaver.
The Yankees lineup: SS Derek Jeter, CF Curtis Granderson, 1B Mark Teixeira, 3B Alex Rodriguez, 2B Robinson Cano, C Russell Martin, RF Andruw Jones, DH Jesus Montero, LF Brett Gardner, P Bartolo Colon.
Photo: Angels outfielder Mike Trout is congratulated by infielder Maicer Izturis after scoring against the Texas Rangers last month. Credit: Mike Stone / Reuters