Kendrys out, Trout in …
The Angels were expecting one of their most talked-about players to make their first Cactus League appearance as the designated hitter against the Royals at Surprise, Ariz., on Tuesday.
One did – but not the one they expected.
Kendrys Morales, still working his way back from a broken left ankle that has sidelined him for 1 1/2 seasons, felt some tightness in his right calf during Monday’s appearance in a Minor League game and decided to take some extra time to rest. So instead, premier prospect Mike Trout, who has been sidelined pretty much all spring with a nasty virus, got the nod as the DH in the No. 8 spot of the lineup.
Trout, who lost 10 pounds because of the illness, has got at-bats via Minor League games on Saturday and Monday, but won’t be able to play the field for about a week because of ongoing tendinitis in his right shoulder.
“I just want to get it stronger,” said Trout, the No. 3-ranked prospect in baseball who’s almost guaranteed to start the season in Triple-A. “It’s just been tight. It won’t affect my playing. I’m still getting my at-bats; doing fundamentals and stuff before the game. Once my arm gets back and stronger, I’ll be out there playing defense, too.”
Morales has played in Minor League games three of the last four days. He was supposed to get four to six at-bats on Monday, but stopped after going 0-for-3 because of tightness in a calf he wears a compression sleeve over.
The Angels have a scheduled off day on Wednesday, so they figured it’d be best for Morales to get the extra time of rest and instead make his Cactus League debut on Thursday, at home against the Royals.
Morales said Tuesday morning that he feels fine.
“Just a little bit sore,” he added in Spanish. “I’ll be out there Thursday.
And manager Mike Scioscia said his confidence in Morales having enough time to be ready by Opening Day “hasn’t diminished at all.”
“His legs are moving great, his ankle’s great, it’s just getting your legs in shape,” Scioscia added. “In some ways it’s a good sign that he gets a little bit tight in some of the muscles you would expect. You certainly have to monitor it. We’re very pleased with where he is, and hopefully he’s going to get to it.”