Mike Trout has said he enjoys hitting leadoff. It’s what he has done for most of his baseball life and what he did Monday and Tuesday against the Seattle Mariners. But he was batting second again for the Angels on Thursday night.
Peter Bourjos, the leadoff hitter Wednesday, wasn’t batting first either.
Erick Aybar was the first man up Thursday after a 13-game absence from the top of the order, and manager Mike Scioscia said that the top of the order could be a rotating affair beyond tonight.
Josh Hamilton will bat seventh Wednesday for the first time since 2009. (AP photo)
One day after going 0 for 5 with three double-play groundouts and two strikeouts, Josh Hamilton was penciled into the seventh slot of the batting order for the first time since 2009.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia indicated that Hamilton will stay there for as long as the slump continues. Sixty-nine games into his five-year, $133 million contract with the Angels, Hamilton is batting .213 with 73 strikeouts.
“It’ll be good for him to get out of the middle of the lineup, protecting Mike (Trout), protecting Albert (Pujols),” Scioscia said.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia offered some clarification Monday for Josh Hamilton‘s somewhat unexpected day off Sunday against the New York Yankees.
Hamilton reportedly didn’t know he was sitting out the 6-5 loss, while Scioscia said it was previously scheduled.
“Josh knew we were going to try to stay away from him,” he said. “Trust me, he needed a day.”
Physically or mentally?
Hamilton, who is batting .213 this season, was passed over as a possible pinch hitter in the ninth inning Sunday in favor of Brad Hawpe and J.B. Shuck.
Monday, Hamilton was penciled into the second spot in the lineup against the Seattle Mariners.
Asked if Hamilton could continue to play through his physical issues this week, Scioscia said uninspiringly, “I hope so.”
American League All-Star vote totals were released today. While not unkind to Mike Trout, he was staring up at a familiar face in the balloting.
Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera was the leading vote-getter with 1,500,165 votes. New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano is second with 1,235,230 votes and Trout leads all outfielders with 1,190,676.
Cabrera won the Triple Crown and the American League MVP award last year in a hotly contested race that saw Trout place second.
There’s still plenty of time for Trout to win this popularity contest; balloting concludes on July 11.
For the complete balloting results, click here.
Some more Monday bullet points: