Baseball Insider

Angels' promotion of Trout nice start in effort to revive lifeless Angels

The Angels needed to do something bold to energize the team after the surprisingly lifeless start, and the promotion of 20-year-old phenom Mike Trout is exactly that.

It didn't come a moment too soon for the 6-14 last-place team full of veteran stars.

The same can't be said for the accompanying move, the release of respected veteran Bobby Abreu. The Angels probably should have parted ways with Abreu back in spring training when they had a chance for a trade with the Cleveland Indians. Had the Angels made that trade, they would have saved themselves a few dollars, and Abreu, who didn't fit the Angels' roster anymore, would have had a clean shot at another chance with a team that wanted him. Abreu wants to play another couple years to enhance his Hall of Fame chances, but the market isn't strong for very veteran DH/OF types.

Trout, meanwhile, has the chance to bring the type of energy the Angels need. He was hitting .403 with 10 extra-base hits at Triple-A Salt Lake City. He was slowed by an undisclosed illness and a shoulder ailment this spring, but he appears ready to help now.

Heaven knows they can use it. The Angels' start has been nothing short of shocking, as their performance hasn't come close to reflecting the type of talent they have (and the kind of outlay of cash they made this winter, what with $317.5 million spent on Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson alone). They need to find more at-bats for young power hitter Mark Trumbo, for one, as Trumbo is hitting .341 with three home runs; manager Mike Scioscia has been reluctant to use him at third base, which he's only learning.

Trout is a start.

The Angels wouldn't call up their top prospect, and one of the best prospects in baseball, if they didn't intend to play him every day. Center fielder Peter Bourjos is batting just .178 with 12 strikeouts to start so he's a candidate for the bench. Vernon Wells is hitting just .230 but has four home runs and a salary north of $20 million, so Bourjos will likely lose the most playing time in the short-term.

Trout's ascension followed by only hours that of Bryce Harper of the Nationals, the other young wunderkind who's seen as one of the top two positional prospects in baseball. Trout, 20, looks like the surer bet to be ready, though, based on the starts to their seasons.

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