The Mike Trout Effect on the Angels
Mike Trout’s big league numbers, with the exception of his home-to-first times, are not off-the-charts — he entered Tuesday night’s game against the Seattle Mariners with a .241 average, five home runs and 14 runs batted in in 27 games.
But there is one statistic that is eye-popping: The Angels are 18-4 in games the 20-year-old outfielder has started.
“That’s just part of the Lore of Trout—or the Lure of Trout?” outfielder Vernon Wells joked after Monday night’s win over Seattle, pun intended.
Trout is a dynamic two-way player, a 20-year-old with speed, power, plate discipline and excellent defensive instincts, and he has injected some much-needed life into an offense that has averaged 6.6 runs, more than two runs above its season average, over the past 16 games.
Since being recalled from double-A Arkansas for the second time on Aug. 19, Trout is hitting .325 (13 for 40) with four homers, 11 runs and eight RBIs in 13 games.
Wells and Bobby Abreu have also picked up the pace offensively in recent weeks, but Manager Mike Scioscia dismissed the idea that Trout has lit a fire under the struggling veterans.
"I think he’s given guys a chance to [escape] the grind here and there, and that’s had a positive effect,” Scioscia said. “When guys are struggling and they have to play a lot because we don’t have options, sometimes it spirals in the wrong direction. That depth is important to us, and he’s contributed in that way.”
Trout, however, is not in the Angels' lineup against Mariners ace Felix Hernandez on Tuesday night.
The Angels lineup: 2B Maicer Izturis, SS Erick Aybar, DH Bobby Abreu, RF Torii Hunter, 1B Mark Trumbo, 3B Alberto Callaspo, LF Vernon Wells, CF Peter Bourjos, C Bobby Wilson, P Ervin Santana.
The Mariners lineup: RF Ichiro Suzuki, SS Brendan Ryan, 2B Dustin Ackley, DH Mike Carp, 1B Justin Smoak, C Miguel Olivo, 3B Kyle Seager, LF Trayvon Robinson, CF Michael Saunders, P Felix Hernandez.
Photo: Mike Trout celebrates his solo home run with catcher Bobby Wilson on Aug. 27. Credit: Jim Cowsert / US Presswire