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Friday, May 24, 2013
Mike Trout looking like Mike Trout

By Kenton Wong, ESPN Stats & Information

AP Photo/Alex GallardoMike Trout has been on a tear since the calendar turned to May
The Los Angeles Angels are playing their best baseball of the season – winning five straight. The last four wins have featured solid pitching as the Angels have surrendered a total of seven runs in that span. It also doesn’t hurt that Mike Trout is once again looking like Mike Trout.

No sophomore slump
After an MVP-caliber rookie season, many projected Trout’s numbers to regress nearly across the board. In April those prognostications looked good as Trout hit just .261 in the month with two homers. May has been a different story as Trout has eight homers with a week left in the month. Thursday’s homer went 463 feet – the longest of his career.

His career-high for homers in a month came last July when he hit 10 bombs and hit .392. Trout has been waiting for his pitch more in May, chasing 19 percent of pitches outside the strike zone after chasing 28 percent in April.

Looking back at the Greinke gamble
Jean Segura
Now that we are eight weeks into the baseball season, it is clear that last season’s trade for Zack Greinke has come back to bite. Greinke wasn’t enough to boost the Angels into the postseason and then took the money and ran up the 5-freeway to play with the Los Angeles Dodgers. That alone would hurt enough, but now the main prospect traded for him, Jean Segura, has quickly become a force for the Milwaukee Brewers.

Segura entered play Thursday with a 2.4 WAR – ranking 10th in baseball among position players. The Angels shortstops by comparison have combined for a -0.9 WAR: Erick Aybar (-0.4), Andrew Romine (-0.3) and Brendan Harris (-0.2).

Friday’s matchup
Angels (Vargas) at Royals (Mendoza)
Trout isn’t the only one with crazy April/May splits, Jason Vargas has bounced back from a rough April in which he went 0-3 with a 4.85 ERA. This month he is 3-0 with a 2.20 ERA, allowing opponents to hit .212.

Vargas’ curveball has been dominant this month as opponents are hitting .125 against it after they hit .308 in April.