If the Los Angeles Angels were hoping to spark their their 19th-ranked offense against the divisional rival Oakland Athletics on Thursday, moving Mike Trout out of his leadoff spot sure didn’t do the trick.
That’s said in a bit of jest, of course, as it is only one game, but I’d have to imagine that not too many players on the Angels will find it too humorous that the team is now off to a 2-7 start after their latest loss, resting quite uncomfortably in the basement of the AL West.
Trout, the team’s spark plug all throughout 2012, had not been off to the start that was expected of the super-sophomore, entering Thursday’s contest with a modest .278/.333/.417 with no homers and just one steal atop the Los Angeles lineup. Moving him to second — and closer to the one-two punch of Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton — was supposed to help get him going as much as it would help get the team going.
Instead, what the Angels got was Trout’s second hitless game of the 2013 season, as the 21-year old went 0-for-4 on the night.
To be fair, he was hardly the only Angels batter who didn’t have much to offer, as the team managed just five measly hits off A’s starter A.J. Griffin through eight innings in the 8-1 loss. Still, as far as first impression goes, this slightly revamped lineup didn’t look any more impressive on this night.
Not to say that it’s anything to be alarmed about yet, though, considering that the outfielder carried a .242/.297/.424 triple slash with just a homer and one steal after nine games in 2012.
Perhaps Trout is just taking a little time to warm up for his post 10.0 fWAR follow-up? As long as he can bring the same kind of impact to the Angels, I’m sure the team wouldn’t really mind for now, not while there’s still 94.4 percent of the season remaining.
That said … he might want to make that happen sooner rather than later because, well, this early-season 5.5-game hole in the division isn’t going looking any less ominous any time soon, you know?