Double-A or Triple-A for Trout?

Double-A or Triple-A for Trout?

ANAHEIM -- The length of Mike Trout's current stay on the big league roster will be largely determined by Peter Bourjos' recovery.

It was Bourjos' hamstring injury on July 7 that led to Trout's call up from Double-A Arkansas. He made his Major League debut the next day, going 0-for-3. Trout went 1-for-9 with a bunt single, a walk, and two runs scored in his first three games last weekend.

If Vernon Wells hadn't been nicked up, too, who knows -- Trout might still be on the Arkansas Travelers' roster. Instead, Wells, who played center field for all 12 seasons of his career prior to 2011, was nursing a sore heel and ankle. That made him unavailable to take over Bourjos' spot in center, contributing to the Angels' decision to call up Trout.

With both healthy, there likely wouldn't be much for the 19-year-old Trout to gain by sitting on the Major League bench.

"If Vernon's OK and Peter's OK, then I think, obviously, if the role is not here for Mike, then you want him playing every day," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.

Whether Trout will head back to Arkansas or Triple-A Salt Lake, if or when he's sent back down, has yet to be determined. In 75 games with Arkansas this season, Trout hit .324 with a .950 OPS, while also tallying 27 RBIs, 28 stolen bases, and 11 triples.

As winners of the North Division's first-half title in the Texas League, the Travelers have already punched their ticket to September's Double-A playoffs.

"Double-A is definitely going to the playoffs, and that's an important part of growth for any young player," Scioscia said. "And I know that [General Manager] Tony [Reagins] is going to balance that between what might be slightly upgraded pitching in Triple-A that he would play against."

A stop in Triple-A for better competition might seem to be most logical, but Scioscia said the gap between Double-A and Triple-A pitchers isn't a wide one.

"It's a huge jump from High A pitching to Double-A pitching, and he's obviously been handling that well," Scioscia said. "Double-A to Triple-A -- there are some things you're going to see that you don't see in Double-A, but I don't think the difference is as vast as going from High A to Double-A -- or Triple-A to the big leagues."