Nobody wants to pitch to Mike Trout …
Albert Pujols could be out the rest of the year, Josh Hamilton is riding a .680 OPS, Howie Kendrick could be out for a while after hyperextending his left knee and Mike Trout himself remains red hot, reaching base in 36 consecutive games to tie Chili Davis for the longest streak by an Angels outfielder.
On Monday, Trout — batting second for the fifth straight game after a brief stint in the No. 3 spot — walked three times, with one of those being intentional to load the bases with two outs in the seventh inning. He’s now drawn at least one walk in his last 10 games and has walked 18 times in that span – at least twice more than any other player.
“Mike can turn a walk into a double,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “Any time you’re going to pitch around him, there’s a probability that you’re going to put a guy in scoring position and we hope to take advantage of that. But you need depth in your lineup. We definitely need Mike to get his pitches. We can’t control what other teams do, but hopefully that’s something that will resolve itself when we get some guys swinging the bats the way they can.”
Trout doesn’t expand his strike zone a whole lot (a good thing, of course). He came into Monday swinging at 26.4 percent of pitches outside of the strike zone, per FanGraphs.com, which is tied for the 38th-lowest percentage in the Majors.
And Scoiscia doesn’t want him expanding his zone further just because he’s being pitched to more carefully.
“I don’t think that’s in Mike’s game,” Scioscia said, “and I don’t think that’s in our best interest.”