Trout generating buzz with hot start in Minors

Trout generating buzz with hot start in Minors

Trout generating buzz with hot start in Minors
ANAHEIM -- With the offense struggling and premier prospect Mike Trout tearing it up in Triple-A Salt Lake, a hot topic among Angels fans has centered on when Trout could get the callup to the big leagues again.

Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto addressed that Thursday.

Well, sort of.

"I don't want it to be on a matter of need," he said. "I want it to be when Mike is ready to take an everyday position on our club. Whether that's sooner rather than later, I can't tell you. He is still 20 years old. He's off to a great start. I think that's what we all expected."

Trout played in 40 games through two stints in the Majors last season, but he missed most of camp with a nasty viral infection and shoulder tendinitis. He's off to a hot start in his first year at Salt Lake, though, putting up a .397/.446/.569 slash line through his first 14 games in the historically hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League.

There's no doubt Trout can help an Angels lineup that currently sits at or below the middle of the pack in basically every major offensive category.

But two factors are at play here:

1. It's tough to justify Trout being in the Majors, and not developing in the Minors, if he doesn't have a spot where he can play every day.

2. A roster spot would have to be created in order for him to fit, either with the release of a big contract (the aging Bobby Abreu?) or the demotion of an important young player (the ill-used Mark Trumbo?).

That all points to the Angels probably waiting a while before calling up Trout. But if the offense keeps struggling, and Trout keeps hitting, the five-tool outfielder may force their hand.

"We know what Mike can deliver," Dipoto said. "When we get to the point where we feel like there's an everyday position for him to impact the club, that's when he'll be here."