Trumbo focused on Salmon's words, not stats
Rookie approaching former Angel's first-year numbers in 1993
ANAHEIM -- Mark Trumbo grows somewhat uncomfortable when a media inquisitor compares his rookie season with that of Tim Salmon, an athlete Trumbo admired growing up in Villa Park, a 10-minute drive from Angel Stadium.
With 26 homers and 80 RBIs, Trumbo is approaching Salmon's numbers in 1993 -- 31 homers, 95 RBIs -- when the right fielder became the lone American League Rookie of the Year in franchise history. Salmon is a visible presence around the club at home as a television analyst, and he's often seen in conversation with the Angels' young, attentive first baseman.
"Questions about catching his numbers, I don't even think about that," Trumbo said. "I'm fortunate to have him around as a resource. When he was a rookie in '93, I was 7. I grew up coming to the park and watching him play. He was a consistent run producer, but more than the numbers was the way he played, the way he managed the grind. He was the model of a solid, consistent player."
Salmon dropped by to visit with Trumbo before Monday night's series opener against the Mariners and southpaw Anthony Vasquez.
Trumbo unloaded a two-run homer on a fastball near his feet in the first inning, later adding an RBI double to right on a pitch around his shoulders. As the Angels' leader in homers and RBIs, Trumbo has a shot at becoming the first rookie in franchise history to lead the team in those categories. Salmon led in homers in 1993, but Chili Davis was the team's RBI kingpin with 112.
"We talk more about mental approach than technical things," Trumbo said. "He asked about my approach to Vasquez, and he liked what I told him."
Angels add infielders Amarista, Velazquez
ANAHEIM -- Adding infield depth for the stretch run, the Angels added Alexi Amarista and Gil Velazquez on Tuesday from their Triple-A Salt Lake affiliate.
Amarista, primarily a second baseman but capable of playing multiple positions, has had 48 at-bats for the Angels this season, hitting .146 with two doubles, a triple and four RBIs.
Velazquez, who plays second base, third base and shortstop, will be making his Angels debut. He has appeared in nine Major League games, coming with the Red Sox in 2008 and '09. He has one hit and one RBI in 10 big league at-bats.
Amarista, a 22-year-old switch-hitter who hails from Barcelano, Venezuela, was summoned by the Angels on April 25. Returning to Salt Lake, he hit .292 with 24 doubles, five triples, 15 steals, four homers and 50 RBIs. Amarista likely will fill the late-game role formerly occupied by Reggie Willits, who is not on the 40-man roster.
A Los Angeles native, Velazquez, 31, batted .328 at Salt Lake this season with 25 doubles, five triples, eight homers and 58 RBIs. He had a .466 slugging mark and stole 17 bases.
A right-handed hitter, Velazquez began his career in the Mets organization after he was selected in the 14th round of the 1998 First-Year Player Draft out of Paramount High School in Los Angeles. He has been in the Twins organization, along with his stints with the Mets and Red Sox.
The Angels signed Velazquez to a Minor League contract last December. They now have 34 players on their roster.
Trout, Kendrick out of lineup against Felix
ANAHEIM -- Continuing to give regulars periodic breaks, Angels manager Mike Scioscia had Howard Kendrick and Mike Trout on the bench against Mariners ace Felix Hernandez on Tuesday night at Angel Stadium.
That's right -- Trout, the youngest player in the Majors at 20 years, 30 days, already qualifies as at least a semi-regular.
The Angels are 18-4 when Trout starts. Scioscia acknowledged that the New Jersey native has been a factor, and he will be back in the lineup in Wednesday night's series finale against Seattle lefty Charlie Furbush.
"The last 30 at-bats since he came back up [from Double-A Arkansas], his impact has been tangible," Scioscia said. "He's contributing from the offensive side for a young kid."
Trout is hitting .325 with 11 runs scored and eight RBIs in 13 games since returning to the Angels on Aug. 19. He has excelled in all three outfield roles, and his blinding speed on the bases creates the same brand of pressure Peter Bourjos brings on a daily basis.
"We have a deep lineup right now," Scioscia said. "It's helping some guys who have played a lot to get a day off. Peter the other day, Howie today."
Kendrick is hitting .320 with seven homers in his past 19 games. He has scored 20 runs over that span with 14 RBIs.
It's been a fine year for the Kotchman family
ANAHEIM -- Casey Kotchman, the first baseman the Angels dealt to Atlanta for Mark Teixeira in 2008, is enjoying perhaps the finest season of his career, hitting .316 through Monday for manager Joe Maddon's Rays.
Tom Kotchman, the Angels' manager at Rookie level Orem, is wrapping up another successful campaign, reaching the playoffs for the 11th consecutive season. He managed Provo from 2001-04, with the team relocating to Orem in '05.
Only once in the past 22 seasons has a Kotchman team finished below .500. That was in 2007, when Orem went 37-39.
Tom Kotchman is in his 28th season in the Angels' organization and 33rd in professional baseball. In addition to teaching and developing young players in his managerial role, he has been one of the franchise's most successful scouts.
He didn't have to leave home to make one of his finer discoveries. Casey was the Angels' first round Draft pick in 2001.
Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.