That two-run blast to right-center off Jacob Turner made me happy just to be a baseball fan. As @dianagram tweeted, "OK ... that Trout shot to right-center ... that was Piazza-like oppo power ... wow!"
He four hits all told. He's not slowing down. He may not slow down until 2028.
AROUND THE SWEETSPOT NETWORK
The Angels mashed their way to a 13-0 win over the Tigers, knocking around prized prospect Jacob Turner to give their own top pitching prospect, Garrett Richards, a comfortable early lead to work with. Turner's performance could prove damning for the Tigers because the rumor mill has reported the Tigers are in on a number of trade-bait pitchers, with Turner a key piece they would include in a package.
Pro Ball NW
The Mariners unloaded on Jonathan Sanchez, scoring seven times before the end of the second inning. Sanchez was mercifully pulled from the game, but not before he raised his ERA, FIP, and xFIP, all of which were figures north of six before Monday's shellacking. Not surprisingly, the Royals pulled the plug on Sanchez, designating him for assignment on Tuesday. This is kind of like a 'yo mama' joke for the Mariners...
You know about Travis Blackley because you are very likely an A's fan. You know that he's thrown 51 1/3 innings this year for the A's (and five more with the Giants), the most he's ever hurled in a big-league season, and that his ERA is around 2.6. You know that despite a BABIP of .261 indicating that perhaps he's gotten a little hit-lucky, he's also got legit component numbers...
Player A is Josh Hamilton. Player B is Trumbo. The only Angels player to slug .600 was Troy Glaus in 2000. Trumbo could do it this year.
3. Are the Angels too right-handed?
It's a minor issue. Against the right-handed Turner, manager Mike Scioscia's first four batters all hit right-handed. He has been concerned enough to usually hit the switch-hitting Kendrys Morales between Albert Pujols and Trumbo, but the correct decision is to move Trumbo into the cleanup spot. It's just common sense to hit your best hitters higher in the order and not get overly worried about late-inning relief matchups.
I wouldn't trade him. I love the idea of a 2013 outfield of Trout, Bourjos and Trumbo once Torii Hunter's contract expires after this season. You have two Gold Glove-calibers fielders in Trout and Bourjos and big offensive production from Trout and Trumbo. Bourjos is attractive trade bait, but he's more valuable than another middle reliever. In fact, I think you can make the argument that the Angels' best lineup this season has Bourjos in center field and Trumbo at designated hitter instead of Morales. Understandably, Scioscia is reluctant to lose Morales' bat, but it's not like he's tearing it up. It's also possible Bourjos would hit better with regular playing time.
He didn't rack up the strikeouts in Tuesday's outing (just two), and he doesn't always know where the ball's going, but he cranked his fastball up to 98 mph and his final pitch in the seventh was clocked at 95. If I were the Angels' front office, I'd be very reluctant to include him in a trade.
We know Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson are good. Santana and Haren were supposed to be the other half of a great four-man group. Among 43 qualified American League starters, Santana ranks 41st in ERA at 5.60. Plagued by inconsistency and too many flat breaking balls, he has been hammered on the road. His walk rate is up and strikeout rate down from 2011. Only Seattle's Jason Vargas has allowed more home runs among AL starters. At this point, once Haren returns from the disabled list, you have to wonder if Jerome Williams stays in the rotation and Santana gets sent to the pen for a spell.
7. Dan Haren was so underrated for so long that he almost became overrated. What is he now?
A question mark. Haren's trip to the DL was the first of his career and led to his first missed start. Haren told ESPNLA.com's Mark Saxon that his back felt great in Monday's rehab start and that's he's ready to face the Rangers this weekend. He didn't enjoy missing time. "At the All-Star break, I had insomnia," Haren said. "I slept like nine hours in three days, total. I was just stressed about not being out there and I stayed home. That was really hard, watching the team on TV. Especially if you lose a game or two -- we lost that tough one [Friday] -- it's just hard not being there."
8. They do need bullpen help.
The bullpen ERA is ninth in the AL and Jordan Walden just went on the DL with a strained biceps. Ernesto Frieri finally gave up his first runs and his control issues will always make Angels fans a little nervous when he enters (as we saw the other night when Scott Down and then Kevin Jepsen were required to close out a lead against the Yankees). Still, it's not an awful pen. There's depth with Downs, LaTroy Hawkins and Jason Isringhausen, but the group doesn't seem to inspire a lot of confidence. Look for the Angels to add another arm here.
9. Angels catchers ...
No, they're not very good. They're hitting a collective .211 with 20 RBIs. Hey, I hear Miguel Olivo is available.