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OC Register: Angels still looking for someone to set the table for Mike Trout

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ANAHEIM — The Angels are still trying figure out how to best leverage Mike Trout’s talents.

Back on July 4, the Angels moved Trout from the No. 2 to the No. 3 spot in order to get him more opportunities to hit with runners on base.

Coming into Sunday afternoon’s game, Trout had come up with at least one runner on base in 23 of his 56 plate appearances (41.1 percent) since the lineup move. Prior to that, as the No. 2 hitter, he batted with someone on base in 37.3 percent of his plate appearances.

As a result, Trout has just one RBI since the move, and it was on a solo homer. He also had driven in just one run — also on a solo homer — in his last 12 games hitting second, which was one of the reasons for the move.

The other problem is that, even when Trout does come up with men on base, he’s often being walked. In the 23 times he’s come up with runners on base since moving to No. 3, he’s walked eight times, five intentionally.

Manager Mike Scioscia said the sample size is still too small to judge the move.

“There is no doubt we need to do a better job of that,” Scioscia said. “That’s one of the things hopefully him hitting third will accomplish. It has not to this point, but it’s too early to tell.”

Since the move, the Angels 1-2 hitters have combined for a .281 on-base percentage, which is well below average. Major league leadoff hitters have combined for a .330 on-base percentage and No. 2 hitters have a .338 mark.

Kole Calhoun and David Fletcher have mostly been hitting first, with Andrelton Simmons hitting second.

“It’s way too small of a sample to say whether it’s working or not,” Scioscia said. “When Simba came back (from the DL), he wasn’t quite what he was before, but he’s getting into that game. Kole hopefully will be able to help him, as well as David in front.”

Scioscia added that “we’ll check back and you can ask that question in another three weeks.”


Taylor Cole, who was optioned to Triple-A when Jim Johnson (back) was activated from the disabled list on Sunday, allowed three runs in 12 innings with the Angels.

“I think there’s no doubt he showed plus stuff and I think we’re excited about that,” Scioscia said. “As he refines it, he’s got the potential to be part of a championship caliber bullpen in a multi-inning role much like (Yusmeiro) Petit did.”

The Angels signed Cole, 28, to a minor league deal early in spring training. He posted a 4.53 ERA this season at Triple-A.


Parker Bridwell underwent arthroscopic surgery to have loose bodies removed from his elbow last week, the Angels announced. It is not expected to be season-ending surgery.

Bridwell had spent most of the season at Triple-A, but he pitched in just six games around the elbow issues. Last year Bridwell was a revelation, going 10-3 with a 3.64 ERA in the majors after the Angels got him in a cash transaction from the Baltimore Orioles.


Scioscia said he approved of Shohei Ohtani’s attempt to bunt for a hit against Justin Verlander on Saturday. Verlander fielded the ball and got a force at second. Scioscia said Ohtani is comfortable doing it, and they’d discussed it earlier in the season. “The premise of it is very sound,” Scioscia said. “There will be times when it’s there and you need to take advantage of it, especially against some pitchers you aren’t going to get 13 hits against.”…

The Angels will need to make two roster moves on Monday. They will need to clear spots for Jaime Barría, who is coming back from the minors to rejoin the rotation, and Albert Pujols, who is expected to be activated from the DL.


Angels (Jaime Barría, 5-6, 3.55) vs. White Sox (Lucas Giolito, 6-8, 6.18), 7 p.m., Fox Sports West, KLAA (830 AM).

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