Mike Trout sent to Triple-A

Updated: March 30, 2012, 3:49 PM ET
By Mark Saxon | ESPNLosAngeles.com

Mike Trout won't be making a return trip to Anaheim just yet.

The Los Angeles Angels optioned one of baseball's most highly regarded prospects to Triple-A Salt Lake Friday, just two days before they break camp to leave Arizona. They likely would have kept Trout on the team longer, but his spring was delayed by an illness that caused him to lose more than 15 pounds.

The Angels also selected the contract of 39-year-old reliever Jason Isringhausen from Triple-A Salt Lake on Friday. Isringhausen is set for his 16th major league season.

Trout, 20, has yet to play in the outfield this spring after he experienced some shoulder stiffness. His next game at Triple-A will be his first, as the Angels promoted him straight from Double-A Arkansas last season. He batted .220 in 40 games with the Angels last year.

ESPN Insider Keith Law tabbed Trout as baseball's best prospect each of the past two seasons. He has elite speed and is a .338 lifetime hitter in the minor leagues.

Many people view Trout as major league-ready, but the Angels' outfield is full, with veterans Vernon Wells and Torii Hunter in the corners and defensive whiz Peter Bourjos in center.

Isringhausen gets a $650,000, one-year contract and the chance to earn $200,000 in performance bonuses: $50,000 each for 25, 35, 45 and 55 games.

"Right now there's no doubt that there's a role for him in the major leagues and with our staff," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He's an important addition to our bullpen."

Isringhausen was 3-3 with a 4.05 ERA and seven saves in 53 games with the New York Mets last year. He signed with the Angels, hoping to play for a contender.

Isringhausen said he would have retired had the Angels not signed him.

"We're going to slot him to wherever he can get," Scioscia said. "We're all projecting that he can get a lot closer to how he threw the ball last year than where he was (early in camp."

Isringhausen retired the side in order in one inning Thursday against Kansas City. He has a 6.35 ERA in 5 2/3 spring training innings.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Mark Saxon

ESPNLosAngeles.com
Mark Saxon is a staff writer for ESPNLosAngeles.com. He spent six years at the Orange County Register, and began his career at the Oakland Tribune, where he started an 11-year journey covering Major League Baseball. He has also covered colleges, including USC football and UCLA basketball.

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