7/5/2013 9:21 P.M. ET
Trout is too valuable to remove from top of lineup
By Alden Gonzalez and William Boor / MLB.com
ANAHEIM -- Angels manager Mike Scioscia has said, on numerous occasions, that Mike Trout will ultimately wind up as a middle-of-the-order hitter.
However, even with Albert Pujols struggling, it does not appear Trout's name will appear third on Scioscia's lineup card in the near future.
"When Mike goes to the three spot, we're going to rework a lot of the lineup," Scioscia said. "I think you're definitely looking for some table-setters in the one and two spots if you have Mike in the three spot, and I'm not sure we have that much depth right now."
In addition to reworking the top of the order, moving Trout would also force Scioscia to find a new spot for Pujols.
Pujols is hitting just .111 (5-for-45) in the past 11 games and although dropping him in the order may take away some pressure, Scioscia does not feel it is necessary.
"He's still a presence in the lineup, and we're still winning games," Scioscia said. "We definitely need his production. You're only going to dramatically change a lineup if it's for the greater good of the whole group. I'm not sure if there's any lineups that we've looked at that are going to move Albert out of that hole that are going to move us ahead at this point right now."
Williams to face Red Sox on two days' rest
ANAHEIM -- Angels right-hander Jerome Williams often says his arm never tires, thanks in large part to the 200-pitch bullpen sessions he often threw during a one-year stint in Taiwan.
That claim will really be put to the test on Saturday.
The Angels, scrambling to find someone to take Tommy Hanson's spot in the rotation, will turn to Williams for the second game of a three-game series against the Red Sox -- three days after the 31-year-old started against the Cardinals.
Williams' Wednesday outing saw him give up seven runs while recording only five outs. But there was a blessing in disguise: He only threw 55 pitches -- 45 of which came in a second inning he didn't finish -- and now he believes he'll be good to go on two days' rest.
"I'm just going to go out there and throw," said Williams, 5-4 with a 3.89 ERA in 21 games (10 starts) this season. "That's my job. I did it numerous times in Taiwan, independent ball. Whatever they need me to do to help, I'll do it."
Williams has only started on two days' rest one time in his career. It was April 19, 2005, when he gave up four runs in four innings three days after pitching two-thirds of an inning out of the bullpen for the Giants. This situation seems even more challenging, given how many pitches he threw his last time out, and it'll come against a Red Sox team that came into a weekend series with the most runs scored in the Majors.
But Williams has been moved in and out of the rotation all season and, as Mike Scioscia said, "He's bounced back great from whatever we've asked him to do."
He pitched six innings out of the bullpen in a 19-inning game against the A's on April 29, then made six turns through the rotation, then compiled 12 innings in an eight-day stretch from June 8-16, then made three more turns through the rotation.
Now, a new challenge.
"It'll be different," Williams said. "But I'm sure I've done it at some point."
The Angels are off on Monday and Thursday, with the four-day All-Star break following four days later. Williams can start again on Friday -- giving him five days' rest after extending himself -- and the Angels won't need a fifth starter until July 23.
By then, perhaps Hanson (right forearm strain) or Jason Vargas (blood clot in left armpit) -- or both -- can be back.
"I wasn't a pitcher, but I would think you're chomping' at the bit to get out there and get another shot at it after you've struggled," Scioscia said. "If Jerome wasn't quite recovered enough, he would've been fine pitching last week in Chicago. He's up for it, he wants to get out there, and hopefully he'll give us what we're looking for tomorrow."
Trout can relate to Puig like few others
ANAHEIM -- Yasiel Puig is barely of legal drinking age, but he's been the talk of baseball since coming up from the Minor Leagues, has almost single-handedly sparked the Dodgers back into relevance and is a five-tool outfielder loaded with talent.
Remind you of someone?
"I really don't compare myself to a lot of people," Angels outfielder Mike Trout said, smiling at the inevitable comparison between what he went through last summer and what Puig is experiencing now. "When I came up, I was just having fun. And just the way he plays the game -- it looks like he's having fun all the time, and he's helping his team win."
It's hard not to find comparisons between Trout and Puig, because of their skill-sets and because of what they've meant to their much-hyped Southern California teams.
When Trout was called up on April 28 of last year, at age 20, the Angels were 7-14 and nine games out of first place. For the rest of the first half, they went 41-24, gaining five games in the standings, and Trout posted a .341/.397/.562 slash line while en route to an All-Star nod.
When Puig was called up on June 3 of this year, at age 22, the Dodgers were 24-32 and 7 1/2 games out of first place. Since then, they've gone 16-12, gaining four games in the standings, and Puig has posted a .430/.455/.719 slash line with everyone debating whether he should be an All-Star.
"He's everything you like to see in a young player coming up -- being aggressive, playing with no fear and having fun," Trout said. "I think the biggest thing is he's fearless. He just plays 100 percent, no holding back. He's turning that team around."
The big difference, as Angels manager Mike Scioscia previously referenced when saying he doesn't believe Puig should be an All-Star this year, is Trout had 290 plate appearances in the first half of 2012. Puig will finish with no more than 170.
Asked to compare the two, one scout said: "Trout has a much better feel and understanding for the game. Puig has more unbridled passion, but he makes his share of mistakes."
"Just the excitement I think he brings to the game," Trout said of what sticks out about Puig. "When he's up to bat, you never know what's going to happen."
Weavers name son Aden to honor Adenhart
ANAHEIM -- While the Angels were preparing for their three-game series against the Red Sox, Jered Weaver became a father.
Weaver and his wife, Kristin, welcomed Aden David Weaver into the world on Friday. Aden, who checked in at eight pounds and 21 inches long, received his first name in honor of late friend and former teammate Nick Adenhart
Adenhart, just hours after pitching six scoreless innings in his season debut on April 8, 2009, was one of three people killed in an automobile accident with a drunk driver.
Weaver started the next day and wrote Adenhart's initials on the mound, something he still does prior to every start.
• Peter Bourjos, on the 15-day disabled list with a fractured right wrist, will not travel with the Angels on the upcoming road trip. Instead, Bourjos will travel to Arizona to continue his recovery process.
• Prior to Friday's game, Tommy Hanson threw for the second time since landing on the DL with a strained right forearm.
• Josh Hamilton hit sixth for the Angels on Friday, but that was simply of product of facing a left-handed pitcher. When the right-handed Ryan Dempster takes the hill Saturday, Hamilton will likely be moved back up to fourth.
"We want Josh to continue to get comfortable and against righties, he will be back up there," Scioscia said.
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. William Boor is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.