<
>

Down on the farm, still toiling

8/17/2010

There are a few players currently working at the Triple-A level who might warrant the question, "Why aren't they with the Angels?"

Two relievers, Brian Stokes and Jason Bulger, have both been stuck in minor-league rehab assignments for two weeks now. Each of them has a 2.70 ERA at Triple-A Salt Lake. It appears the Angels have left them down there to avoid a difficult roster decision with veteran setup man Scot Shields. Can they wait until Sept. 1, when rosters expand, and spare Shields? Doubtful.

The other guy, Mark Trumbo, must be thinking, "What do I have to do?" The big first baseman slugged his 28th home run Monday and is batting .382 in his last nine games. The thing that held him back in the past, strikeouts, are down (to 105). His walks are way up (to 50) and he has an excellent .364 on-base percentage.

UPDATE: Manager Mike Scioscia said Sept. 1 would be the latest Bulger and Stokes would return, so that means the Shields issue could arise.