There were no shortage of differing opinions as to just how Mike Trout was going to follow his historic 10.0 fWAR rookie season in 2013, but likely very few would have predicted that the Los Angeles Angels super-sophomore would come out of the gate and hit just 2-for-11 without drawing a walk through the first two games, while striking out four times.
Yes sir, this is a year that opposing pitchers are going to make adjustments, and Trout (along with the rest of the big Angels stars, really) has been finding that out early against the Cincinnati Reds‘ hurlers.
But … it is Mike Trout, after all, and on Thursday afternoon against Bronson Arroyo, the Angels leadoff man woke up from his offensive slumber, and woke up in a hurry.
The 21-year old center fielder was arguably the team’s best offensive player on Thursday, as he went 2-for-4 with a walk and recording his second double of the season. Thanks to both Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton finally deciding to join in on all that hitting fun with a two-RBI hit each, Trout wound up scoring twice in the ballgame.
While the team and its fans likely breathed a collective sigh of relieve to see that its best players were finally doing what they were supposed to do, it wasn’t enough to overcome a poor debut from newcomer Joe Blanton, and the Angels still finished the game with a series loss and a 1-2 record.
Still, as it was the case in 2012, it’s Trout who has the ability to be the spark plug and engine for the this Los Angeles team, and as they saw on Thursday, the complexion of the offense changes when he’s getting on base and doing his thing in front of the big bats.
And if he’s finally just getting started, Hamilton can’t be far behind, not when he has all the motivation of a return to Texas on tap over the weekend.