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Angels Notes: Mike Trout isn’t hitting, but he’s still setting the table in deeper lineup

By in Press Enterprise on September 16, 2017

By Jeff Fletcher

ANAHEIM — Mike Trout continues to struggle in one way, and put up MVP-caliber numbers in another.

Angels manager Mike Scioscia isn’t worried about the former as long as Trout keeps doing the latter.

Coming into Friday night’s game, Trout was hitting .237 over his last 28 games. His on-base percentage during that span, however, was a robust .426. For the season, he was still hitting .317 with a .455 on-base percentage.

Scioscia said the Angels can still be productive, even if Trout is doing more walking than hitting, because they now have a deeper lineup, with the additions of Brandon Phillips and Justin Upton. Phillips hits in front of Trout and Upton hits behind him.

That’s why Scioscia said he’s not interested in getting Trout to change his approach.

“We would never want to impact his table-setting ability, which is the best in baseball,” Scioscia said. “I don’t think you want to erode that by saying, ‘You’ve got to expand because if you don’t, we’re not going to get it done.’ You’ve seen guys swing the bat behind Mike when he walks and it’s provided big offense for us. You want to get your lineup deep to where it becomes a pick-your-poison situation for another manager.”

The Angels are still scoring at a clip of 5.2 runs per game since Upton and Phillips joined the lineup around Trout. Albert Pujols has gotten even more RBI opportunities, driving in 13 runs in the first 11 games with Trout and Upton in front of him.

Trout, of course, would like contribute by getting hits and drawing walks, as he’s done for most of the season.

“I’m just missing pitches,” Trout said earlier this week. “Some of the pitches I’m swinging at, I’m just a tick late. Once they throw a pitch I can hit, I’ve got to be swinging […]    

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