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Angels shake things up, bat Mike Trout second

Apr 11, 2013, 6:03 PM EDT

Mike Trout Getty Images

For the first time since 2011, Mike Trout is batting somewhere other than the leadoff spot for the Angels on Thursday. Manager Mike Scioscia has him in the two-hole against the A’s, with Alberto Callaspo at the top of the order.

The Angels are without usual No. 2 hitter, Erick Aybar, who is on the shelf with a heel injury.

Scioscia’s decision to move Trout seems less a reaction to Aybar’s injury and more born from a need to shake things up. The Angels held a team meeting after losing their third straight game last night and falling to 2-6. They’ve been outscored by the A’s 20-10 the last two days.

Trout is off to a modest .278/.333/.417 start with no homers, one RBI and 10 strikeouts in 36 at-bats. The Angels will see if sticking him in front of the red-hot Albert Pujols will do any good.

  1. chacochicken - Apr 11, 2013 at 6:11 PM

    I think Scioscia should make everyone bat opposite tonight. So righties hit left and so on. Switch hitters have to bunt.

  2. jonrox - Apr 11, 2013 at 6:15 PM

    That’s where lineup optimization says you should put your best batter, right?

    • Matthew Pouliot - Apr 11, 2013 at 6:16 PM

      Generally, yeah. Especially in the AL because you don’t have the pitcher batting ninth.

    • Dan Camponovo - Apr 12, 2013 at 12:20 AM

      2nd or 4th, yeah. In theory, 4th gets the more important RBI spots, whereas 2nd obviously gets around 40 or 50 more PAs per season (and thus more opportunities to do damage).

  3. hittfamily - Apr 11, 2013 at 6:25 PM

    Scioscia is the most overrated manager now that Lou Piniella has retired. Nobody else can do less with more. 3 straight years without making the postseason….with that team? Horrible. Their 1b, SS, LF,RF, SP, and DH can all make a strong case for themselves at being the best players at their respective positions in baseball. So can their #1 starter. Their #2 is pretty good too. Vargas is a great #3.

    When was the last time a Scoscia team didn’t underperform and disappoint? 2010? Any manager in baseball could miss the playoffs with that team. Not all managers would miss the playoffs though.

    • 1981titan - Apr 11, 2013 at 6:35 PM

      The last time they did not “Massively Underperform” is when Joe Maddon was the Bench Coach. Prior success may be more tied to Joe than Scoscia.

      • hittfamily - Apr 11, 2013 at 7:20 PM

        You are probably right. When was the last time a Scioscia team exceeded expectations? He has been with them for 14 years, and they haven’t exceeded what could be expected in a long time. I can tell you when a Larussa team over performed. I can tell you when a Cox team over performed. I can tell tell you when a Bochy, Showalter, Girardi, Gardenhire, Washington team over performed. Maddon’s teams do it every year.

        Scioscia has a job because of his contract. If he wasn’t signed thru 2018, he’d be in a broadcast booth.

      • dondada10 - Apr 11, 2013 at 8:26 PM

        Bud Black and Ron Roenicke leaving hasn’t helped either.

  4. 1981titan - Apr 11, 2013 at 6:33 PM

    They should actually be using Bourjos in the leadoff spot. But if Scioscia really wants to make a worthwhile shake up he should assign Mike Butcher to the Single A. Every pitcher that comes to Anaheim gets worse under his tutelage and he gould not get Cy Young out of a slump. This team has not been the same since Joe Went to Manage at Tampa. Scoscia has not had this team ready to play in April for the alst three years. They will make a big run in the second half and fall just short of the playoffs.

    • jonrox - Apr 11, 2013 at 9:42 PM

      A career .300 OBP guy? No thanks, Dusty Baker

  5. echech88 - Apr 11, 2013 at 6:56 PM

    Nobody ever points out that the Angels have been a pretty mediocre, underachieving team when Scioscia lost his staff (Maddon, Bud Black and most recently Roenicke).

    He gets all the credit but it is entirely possible Scioscia benefited from other great coaches surrounding and supplementing him in the clubhouse because his teams have been toxic ever since.

  6. historiophiliac - Apr 11, 2013 at 6:58 PM

    Pffft. Little punk thinks he’s Torii Hunter. Whatevs,

  7. antlerclaws - Apr 12, 2013 at 9:15 AM

    The Angels face the Astros this weekend (who have a better record). If they don’t take at least 2 out of 3 from Houston, they better have a real come-to-Jesus meeting, because then it will be time to hit the panic button.

  8. GoneYickitty - Apr 12, 2013 at 1:17 PM

    Trout doesn’t look good. Where are all the people from last year who insist he’s a better player than Harper? No way in hell Trout’s swing even comes close to Harper’s. Trout will be a solid player, Harper is and will continue to be a star.

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