J.P. Hoornstra checks in from Angels Camp …
TEMPE, Ariz. >> On his first day of spring training, Angels outfielder Mike Trout identified two ways he would try to improve on his MVP season. One was to pump up his career-low 16 stolen bases; the other was to decrease his American League-leading 184 strikeouts.
Trout backed up his words in his first Cactus League game on Thursday. He swung at the first pitch he saw from Kyle Lohse and flew out to deep right-center field. He later added a generously scored infield single — not on the first pitch — to finish 1 for 2.
“I’m looking to drive the ball a little bit,” he said. “That’s the biggest thing for cutting down the strikeouts, is getting a pitch early in the zone to drive. I’ll work on it definitely this spring.
“Throughout my whole career I’ve been taking the first pitch because I like to see pitches,” Trout continued. “I like to get more comfortable throughout the game. I’m going to get ready, locked and loaded first pitch, and if it’s in the zone I’m going to take a hack at it.”