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Saturday, June 2, 2012
How many bases could Mike Trout steal?

By Mark Saxon

ANAHEIM -- One of the knocks on Mike Trout in the minor leagues -- and there weren't many -- was that he could be overly cautious on the bases. The coaches at Double-A Arkansas wanted him to be a bit more reckless, to use his blazing speed to test catchers and to hone his instincts.

Like most areas of his game, base stealing appears to be an area that is rapidly improving. By the end of last season, Trout led the Texas League with 33 stolen bases and, since he arrived in Anaheim at the end of April, he has stolen eight bases while being caught just twice.

Though he missed three weeks, Trout trails AL leader Alejandro De Aza by only five stolen bases. It appears that, over time, Trout could become a player who leads the league in stolen bases every year.

"At one time, where maybe you saw him not get a jump or get picked off and overcompensating, he's found a comfort level that I think will make him a legitimate base stealing threat," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.

* Also, reliever LaTroy Hawkins begins a minor-league rehabilitation at Single-A Inland Empire Sunday and likely will be activated from the 15-day disabled list Friday in Colorado. Hawkins missed about a month recovering from a broken finger.

Here are lineups for Saturday night's game with the first-place Texas Rangers, the rematch of Yu Darvish vs. C.J. Wilson:

Texas
Ian Kinsler 2B
Elvis Andrus SS
Josh Hamilton LF
Adrian Beltre 3B
Michael Young DH
Nelson Cruz RF
Mike Napoli 1B
Yorvit Torrealba C
Craig Gentry CF

Angels
Mike Trout CF
Alberto Callaspo 3B
Albert Pujols 1B
Kendrys Morales DH
Mark Trumbo LF
Torii Hunter RF
Howie Kendrick 2B
Erick Aybar SS
Bobby Wilson C