ANAHEIM -- Bobby Abreu said his contract option for 2012 wasn't weighing heavily on his mind. Still, it was a nice relief as his $9 million option vested when he recorded his 433rd plate appearance of the season in Sunday's game against Detroit.
"It's good to know you're going to be back next year," Abreu said. "You have a contract. You don't have to go through free agency stuff again."
Abreu signed a one-year deal with the club before the 2009 season, and then penned his name to a two-year contract prior to 2010 with the option for 2012. He described his two-and-a-half years in Anaheim thus far as very enjoyable.
"We have such good teammates, good players all around," he said. "The young guys -- they just want to play the game right ... Good coaches, good city and good fans."
With just four home runs, the 37-year-old former Home Run Derby champion isn't driving the ball quite like he used to. However, the Angels have still found value in Abreu's offense, particularly in his ability to get on base. His .380 on-base percentage paced the team entering Tuesday. Additionally, he came into the Halos' series against Minnesota second on the team with 15 stolen bases.
Asked how many years he thought he had left, Abreu simply grinned. But he would like to spend those years -- however many there are -- in Anaheim.
"No doubt I would like to," he said through a smile. "Let's see what's going to happen."
Double-A playoff experience valuable to Trout
ANAHEIM -- Mike Trout is back in Little Rock -- for now.
The Angels sent their precocious 19-year-old outfielder back to Double-A Arkansas on Monday. Infielder Andrew Romine was called up Tuesday from Triple-A Salt Lake to occupy the vacant spot on the Halos' 25-man roster and was active for the series opener against Minnesota.
"Back to little rock!" Trout wrote on Twitter. "Had awesome experience up here in Anaheim thanks for everything!"
In deciding whether to send Trout back to Double-A or Triple-A Salt Lake, Angels manager Mike Scioscia cited little to no disparity between the current quality of pitching at the two levels, as well as Trout's opportunity to compete in the playoffs with Arkansas.
"We really feel strongly that in a player's development it's important to experience the playoffs. In Mike's case, he's a guy that's leading a team to the playoffs," Scioscia said. "There's a comfort level there. He just needs to play."
Promoted to the Major Leagues on July 8 to fill the void left in center field by an injury to Peter Bourjos, Trout played in 14 games and was 7-for-43 (.163) with one home run, six RBIs and one stolen base.
Bourjos returned from the disabled list July 23 after missing 11 games with hamstring tightness.
Trout hit .324 with nine home runs, 27 RBIs, 28 stolen bases and a .415 on-base percentage in 75 games with Arkansas before his promotion.
The 25-year-old Romine played in three games for the Angels earlier this season, going 1-for-7 while being slotted at third base. He hit .274 with four home runs, 29 RBIs and 21 stolen bases in 90 games with Salt Lake.
Angels make lineup adjustments against lefty
ANAHEIM -- The Angels' lineup for Tuesday's series opener against Minnesota featured a couple new wrinkles.
With lefty Brian Duensing on the mound for the Twins, Angels designated hitter Bobby Abreu switched from third to second in the order. He swapped spots with Torii Hunter, who hit third rather than the No. 2 spot in which he had typically been slotted recently.
Additionally, rookie first baseman Mark Trumbo -- the team's leaders in home runs (19) and RBIs (55) -- moved from his usual seventh spot to hit sixth.
Manager Mike Scioscia said those changes were a product of the Halos' continual search for more offensive continuity, but could be here to stay.
"Against lefties, Bobby's still getting on base. Hopefully Torii and Vernon [Wells] are going to start to drive the ball a little better," Scioscia said. "Against the lefties we might move Trumbo up and get him connected with the other guys [in the middle of the order] a little bit. Against righties, we're going to flip flop some things and try to find a little continuity that way."
"Some of the splits [statistics] are not what we would expect and some guys are just flat out searching for some things."
Newly inducted Hall of Fame pitcher and Twins broadcaster Bert Blyleven threw out the honorary first pitch before Tuesday's game. Blyleven is a native of nearby Garden Grove, Calif., and pitched for the Angels from 1989-92, earning American League Comeback Player of the Year after going 17-5 his first season in Anaheim. He finished his career with 287 wins and 3,701 strikeouts.
No active player with at least 100 plate appearances against the Twins has hit them better than the Angels' Howard Kendrick. Kendrick entered Tuesday's series opener 38-of-99 against Minnesota lifetime. Additionally, he came in hitting 13-of-34 in his last 10 games, having raised his average from .291 to .300.
If Hank Conger's statistics are any indication of how he's handled being sent back to Triple-A, things are going just fine. Conger hit .333 with three home runs, 17 RBIs, and an OPS of 1.012 in his first 13 games since being optioned to Salt Lake on July 19. He hit .273 for the Angels in April, but later struggles saw his average plummet to just .214 before his option.
Jordan Garretson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.