Angels Notes: Mike Trout faces another season of the first-pitch dilemma

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error He also hadn’t been doing much with them. His homer on a first pitch on Tuesday night was his first hit in 29 first-pitch swings, dating to Aug. 7.“I know I’ve been fouling a lot of pitches off,” he said. “Sometimes when you swing at the first pitch, you get a little too big and try to hit it too far. Sometimes I’m a little jumpy.”For the season, Trout has still swung at 19.8 percent of first pitches, the highest rate of his career. He’s hit .432 on the 37 first pitches he’s put into play.“I think it was the right amount,” he said. “I took some chances when I needed to.”HOLDING PATTERN FOR ESCOBARThe Angels had hoped to get Yunel Escobar back at some point in September, but it’s become increasingly apparent that is unlikely. CHICAGO — Mike Trout has had an off-and-on relationship with the first pitch throughout his career.Trout says swinging at the first pitch sometimes puts him in a better position to be aggressive throughout the at-bat, but other times is a sign of him being too aggressive and getting himself out.“It’s all about the way I feel,” he said Wednesday. “When I’m feeling good at the plate, I’m swinging.”In September, a month in which Trout had hit .241 heading into Wednesday’s game, he had swung at 12.8 percent of first pitches, his lowest percentage of any month this season.center_img After reporting that Escobar hadn’t made enough progress to play in an instructional league game on Wednesday, Manager Mike Scioscia said Escobar is “questionable” to make it back.A couple weeks ago, Escobar got as far as playing minor league rehab games before suffering a setback.Without Escobar since early August, the Angels have had no choice but to play Luis Valbuena and C.J. Cron almost every day. For most of that time, both players were hitting well enough that the Angels weren’t hurt, but both have been slumping lately. Cron just snapped an 0-for-20 slump on Tuesday night.ALSOAndrew Heaney proved to be healthy enough to pitch on Thursday, Scioscia said, but the Angels opted instead to start Bud Norris in a bullpen game, because there was no reason to push Heaney after they were eliminated. Scioscia said the Angels are confident going into the winter that Heaney is OK after missing more than two weeks with shoulder inflammation…The Angels entered play on Wednesday with a .987 fielding percentage, just better than the club record of .986, last achieved in 2014.last_img read more

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