Angels finally get to debut everyday lineup

Angels finally get to debut everyday lineup

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Josh Hamilton was ready to play left field and the Angels were coming off an off-day, so manager Mike Scioscia was finally able to debut what's expected to be his everyday lineup at Camelback Ranch on Wednesday …

Kole Calhoun RF

Mike Trout CF

Albert Pujols 1B

Hamilton LF

David Freese 3B

Raul Ibanez DH

Howie Kendrick 2B

Chris Iannetta C

Erick Aybar, SS

"It's groupings that I think really work," Scioscia said before facing the White Sox, "and we feel like it has the potential to be a deep lineup."

Through six innings on Wednesday, the Angels' everyday lineup plated nine runs and scored in each frame. Pujols lined two doubles to right-center field, Trout hit a solo homer to left-center, Kendrick notched three hits, Calhoun had a couple, Hamilton and Freese contributed RBI singles, Iannetta had a run-scoring double and Aybar brought in a run with a suicide squeeze.

"We're going to score some runs," said Trout, who also took a breaking ball to his left wrist and stole second base two pitches later. "We just have to take it one day at a time and can't do what we did last year, obviously. We just have to do our jobs and keep our approach."

Last year, the Angels ranked seventh in the Majors in runs and fifth in OPS. They don't have Mark Trumbo in the middle of the order anymore, but Pujols is expected to be healthy after being limited to 99 games due to plantar fasciitis. Hamilton is expected to bounce back now that he's back at his customary 240 pounds.

Overall, Scioscia expects this year's group to be better.

"I think offensively, we're going to be able to do, hopefully, at least as much as last year and rebound off of that," Scioscia said. "The production wasn't quite what we think it could be last year."

The biggest improvements need to come with regards to situational hitting, which the Angels have stressed since the start of camp. The Angels finished tied for ninth in the Majors in batting average with runners in scoring position last year and batted .225 in that situation (tied for 23rd) in the first month.

"It picked up in the second half, but we struggled," Scioscia said. "There's always a focus on that, but I think that production is there when guys are in the game."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.