DENVER -- A logjam in the Angels outfield has reduced Peter Bourjos to a bench player, but there are no plans to send down or trade him this season.
"Peter has a role on our team, and he's going to help us win games, although it's not a role he had last year," said Angels manager Mike Scioscia.Bourjos started 138 games in 2011, but has seen his playing time diminished with the emergence of rookie Mike Trout and the need to play Mark Trumbo in the outfield. Bourjos, who is hitting .219, didn't start any of the Angels' three games against the Rockies. His most recent starts were June 6 and June 3 against Seattle. To accommodate Bourjos in the lineup, the Angels gave Torii Hunter and Kendrys Morales days off. "Torii is hot and you want to keep him in there, but there'll be times when he needs a day off," Scioscia said. "Mark [Trumbo] may play some infield, and then you'll need an outfielder." Bourjos is usually used as a late defensive replacement in the outfield, as his range is superior to Trumbo's. "It's difficult for a young player that has the ability to play every day but isn't in there," Scioscia said. "But Peter is going to help us win games."
Hunter, Angels happy to ride the wave
DENVER -- Winners of 13 of their last 17, with a chance to sweep their third series of the year should they beat the Rockies on Sunday, the Angels are finally looking like the team preseason pundits said they'd be."We're playing a lot better than we did the first six weeks," said Angels outfielder Torii Hunter. "We couldn't find the chemistry, and the team grew offbeat. But now we're having fun, lifting each other up." Hunter stressed a well-practiced baseball axiom: "The game is a game of failure," he said before Sunday's game. How else could you explain a team with a $151-million payroll finishing April with a 8-15 record? "We've got to keep riding this boat," Hunter said. "We know baseball; three out of 10 here, and you're a hero. You go three out of 10 in your job, and you're fired. Three out of 10 in school, and it's an "F." Three out of 10 in any other sport, and you're released. It being such a beast of a game makes it great whenever you're playing well." The Angels set new season highs for runs (11) and hits (15) in an 11-5 win over the Rockies on Saturday, a win that pushed them to three games behind the Rangers in the American League West. "I won't talk about the Rangers, or anybody else," Hunter said. "We've got to ride out this wave until it ends."
Scioscia not planning to reel in Trout
DENVER -- Angels manager Mike Scioscia has no plans to reel in the frenetic play of Mike Trout, even with the prevalence of injuries that have struck in 2012."I really think that when you play aggressively, you have a natural mechanism that protects you," Scioscia said of Trout, who went flying into the outfield wall on a double by Carlos Gonzalez in the first inning on Sunday. "If you try to put a governor on him, try to have him slide gingerly or not go as hard, I think that puts him more at risk. You can get in an awkward position if you try to take your athletic ability out of the equation." Entering Sunday, the 20-year-old Trout led the American League in hitting (.369) and runs (31) since May 1. In two games against the Rockies, he's stolen four bases, and he led off Sunday's game with a double. Trout will have many more opportunities, because Scioscia doesn't believe scheduling off-days for his young center fielder is the best idea. "We're not there with Mike," he said. "It's not out of the realm for a young guy to come up and play a full load of games. Steve Sax, for instance, was 22 in 1982, and he played 150 games."
Trey Scott is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.