Trout sent to Triple-A amidst trying spring

Trout sent to Triple-A amidst trying spring

TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Angels optioned star prospect Mike Trout -- as well as long-shot rotation candidate Brad Mills -- to Triple-A Salt Lake on Friday.

The move offered little in the way of surprise. All it did was signal the end of what was a very frustrating spring for the No. 3 prospect in baseball, as ranked by MLB.com.

"It's definitely a setback, obviously," Trout said. "I have to get right and get healthy before I can get out there and perform."

Trout was hardly right all spring. The 20-year-old outfielder battled a nasty virus for most of his stint in camp, dropping 15-20 pounds because of it, and he still hasn't played a game in the outfield because of ongoing right shoulder tendinitis.

Trout has gained about 10 pounds back and has been throwing lightly, with manager Mike Scioscia saying he's a week to 10 days away from playing the outfield in a game.

Trout called his second stint in big league camp "a little frustrating," but he was in no way shocked by being sent down.

"I was expecting it," said Trout, who recorded just six Cactus League at-bats. "They already told me I wasn't going to the Freeway Series [from Monday to Wednesday], so I figured one of these two days, I was going down. So I'll get my work down there and get back up here."

Trout played in 40 Major League games through two stints with the Angels last season, posting a .672 on-base-plus-slugging percentage in that span, and put up a .326/.414/.544 line as the lone teenager in the Texas League. But with the Angels' outfield being set, he had little to no chance of making the Opening Day roster from the start of camp.

Now, it's off to Triple-A.

"Obviously, your goal is to get to the big leagues," Trout said. "But I guess I'll go to Salt Lake and try to put up some good numbers, win some games and have some fun."

Mills, a soft-tossing left-hander acquired from the Blue Jays in exchange for catcher Jeff Mathis, had a solid spring, posting a 1.23 ERA in 14 2/3 innings. Jerome Williams and Garrett Richards are competing for the fifth spot in the Angels' rotation.

The Halos' Spring Training roster is now at 34 players.