07/14/11 8:15 PM ET
Double-A or Triple-A for Trout?
By Jordan Garretson / MLB.com
It was Bourjos' hamstring injury on July 7 that led to Trout's callup from Double-A Arkansas. He made his Major League debut the next day, going 0-for-3. Trout went 1-for-9 with a bunt single, a walk, and two runs scored in his first three games last weekend.
If Vernon Wells hadn't been nicked up, too, who knows -- Trout might still be on the Arkansas Travelers' roster. Instead, Wells, who played center field for all 12 seasons of his career prior to 2011, was nursing a sore heel and ankle. That made him unavailable to take over Bourjos' spot in center, contributing to the Angels' decision to call up Trout.
With both healthy, there likely wouldn't be much for the 19-year-old Trout to gain by sitting on the Major League bench.
"If Vernon's OK and Peter's OK, then I think, obviously, if the role is not here for Mike, then you want him playing every day," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.
Whether Trout will head back to Arkansas or Triple-A Salt Lake, if or when he's sent back down, has yet to be determined. In 75 games with Arkansas this season, Trout hit .324 with a .950 OPS, while also tallying 27 RBIs, 28 stolen bases, and 11 triples.
As winners of the North Division's first-half title in the Texas League, the Travelers have already punched their ticket to September's Double-A playoffs.
"Double-A is definitely going to the playoffs, and that's an important part of growth for any young player," Scioscia said. "And I know that [General Manager] Tony [Reagins] is going to balance that between what might be slightly upgraded pitching in Triple-A that he would play against."
A stop in Triple-A for better competition might seem to be most logical, but Scioscia said the gap between Double-A and Triple-A pitchers isn't a wide one.
"It's a huge jump from High A pitching to Double-A pitching, and he's obviously been handling that well," Scioscia said. "Double-A to Triple-A -- there are some things you're going to see that you don't see in Double-A, but I don't think the difference is as vast as going from High A to Double-A -- or Triple-A to the big leagues."
Halos hope for Bourjos' return this weekend
ANAHEIM -- Peter Bourjos' availability will be decided prior to Friday's game at Oakland, the opener of a four-game set. If all goes well, manager Mike Scioscia hopes to have the sure-gloved speedster back on the field this weekend.
Bourjos exited the Angels' July 7 game with tightness in his right hamstring, and missed the following three games before the All-Star break. He appeared to strain his leg while sharply rounding second on a double.
The 24-year-old center fielder attended Thursday's optional team workout at Angel Stadium, and took batting practice, shagged fly balls, and participated in light drills.
He said he felt "a lot better."
"We'll have an idea [after Thursday] exactly where he is," Scioscia said. "If he passes [Thursday's] test and he can progress [on Friday], there's a good chance we can have him available for the weekend."
The injury came at a particularly inopportune time for Bourjos. He was hitting .412 (14-of-34) through the first 10 games of the Angels' pre-All-Star break homestand. He is also hitting .341 since June 1, after posting a .176 mark for the month of May.
But even more vital to the Angels has been his defense. Baseball Information Solutions estimates that Bourjos has saved an estimated 18 runs, leading all American League outfielders.
Though 19-year-old Mike Trout -- called up from Double-A in the aftermath of Bourjos' injury -- has been a more-than-suitable replacement for that defense, the Angels certainly want Bourjos back.
"There's nothing that's pressing," Scioscia said. "We have enough players to get through the weekend. If he's not making progress and we are going to have to make a move, we'll look into that [on Friday]. We'll still have time [on Friday] to evaluate him."
Weaver to start Saturday
ANAHEIM -- The next lineup Jered Weaver pitches against figures to be a little weaker than the previous one.
Coming off his start for the American League in Tuesday's All-Star Game, the right-hander will start one game of the Angels' doubleheader at Oakland on Saturday. Weaver threw only the first inning of Tuesday's Midsummer Classic, firing 14 pitches, allowing no hits, one walk, and striking out a batter.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia said one inning of work for Weaver was the parameter he set beforehand with AL and Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington.
Entering Thursday, no other pitcher who threw in Tuesday's game -- other than Roy Halladay -- has thrown more innings this season than Weaver's 140 1/3.
"He's pitched a lot this year. You want to give him a little breather," Scioscia said. "If he was going to go out there, and even if it's two innings, he had to grind and throw 40-plus pitches. That's maybe not the reset we're looking for, as opposed to just going out there almost like a bullpen."
Weaver's 1.86 ERA leads the Majors, and his 11 wins are tied for the second most in the AL.
Tyler Chatwood will start for Triple-A Salt Lake at Tacoma on Thursday night. The 21-year-old was sent down to Triple-A to make room for Mike Trout's callup last week. Chatwood will likely rejoin the Major League roster in time to start in Tuesday's game against division-leading Texas at Angel Stadium.
"Hopefully, he's going to command the ball well," Scioscia said. "It'll be a good workout for him, and it'll get him ready to come back and join the rotation."
Right-handed reliever Fernando Rodney threw a bullpen session on Thursday, and is slated for a rehab appearance with Class A Inland Empire in San Jose on Saturday. Rodney hasn't pitched since June 8 because of a strained upper back.
Saturday's doubleheader with Oakland is the first 'scheduled' twin bill in the Major Leagues since the Phillies and the Padres played two on Aug. 2, 2003. Scioscia said Torii Hunter or Vernon Wells will likely be slotted in the designated hitter spot for one of the two games.
Jordan Garretson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.