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.
With Opening Day coming up, few spots remain
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Seven days remain until Opening Day, 34 players are left in camp and the 40-man roster is now full, providing even more clarity as to who will make the 25-man roster to start the season.
The Angels have only a few roster decisions left to make.
One is with regards to the 14 position players who will open the season. Assuming Bobby Abreu remains with the team -- a potential deal with the Indians was reportedly nixed -- the Angels only have one spot remaining on their bench, with corner infielder Jorge Cantu, outfielder Ryan Langerhans and utility man Alexi Amarista in the mix.
Amarista (.333 batting average heading into Friday) and Cantu (.297) have both had solid springs. On one hand, Amarista can be more of a benefit to the Angels because he's more versatile -- with an ability to play the middle infield and all three outfield positions -- and can be used late in games as a pinch-runner. On the other, Amarista has options left and Cantu can opt out of his Minor League deal by May 1.
Then there's the final spot in the starting rotation, which is down to Garrett Richards and Jerome Williams. Richards, the 23-year-old who has yet to pitch in Triple-A, will start against the Cubs on Saturday, while Williams, who's recovering from a strained left hamstring and is out of options, will start in a Minor League game.
With Jason Isringhausen being added to the 40-man roster on Friday, the Angels have two spots left in their bullpen. Those will be filled by either Trevor Bell, Kevin Jepsen or Rich Thompson, who's out of options.
The young and developing Hank Conger is also still in camp, but it's a pretty sure bet that Bobby Wilson -- who's out of options -- will open up as the backup catcher.
Isringhausen officially part of Halos' pen
TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Angels, basically facing a Friday-morning deadline to make a decision, added Jason Isringhausen to their 40-man roster on Friday, giving the veteran right-hander a spot in their Opening Day bullpen and keeping him away from retirement.
"I'm thankful for the opportunity," Isringhausen said. "I'm going to give them everything I've got."
Under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, the Angels would have had to pay Isringhausen -- who came over on a Minor League contract -- an extra $100,000 if he wasn't added to the roster by 9 a.m. PT.
On Thursday night, following back-to-back clean innings on Wednesday and Thursday, Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto assured the 39-year-old he'd be kept on the roster. Then, on Friday morning, Isringhausen was signed to a big league deal that will pay him $650,000 in 2012.
"With the exception of one hiccup, he's been fairly steady through the spring," Dipoto said. "The secondary stuff is getting sharper, and you just trust his ability to go out there and navigate himself through Major League hitters. He's done it for so long."
Isringhausen, a product of three Tommy John surgeries, ranks third on the active list with 300 career saves and has posted a 3.62 ERA in 15 years in the big leagues.
With the Mets last year, in his first full season since his latest Tommy John procedure, he impressed before missing almost all of September with a back injury -- contributing 46 2/3 innings while posting a 4.05 ERA, 1.286 WHIP, 19 holds and seven saves in 11 chances.
If the Angels wouldn't have kept him on the team, Isringhausen would've been just fine with going home, spending time with his two daughters and calling it a career.
But his priority was to help the Angels.
"I want to pitch," said Isringhausen, who has given up four runs in 5 2/3 Cactus League innings, three of which came Sunday. "I don't want to sit out there and be a mentor of any kind. If someone has questions, I'll have answers, but I want to get people out, help them that way, pitching in any inning they need me to pitch. I'm looking forward to it."
In his second-to-last outing of the spring, C.J. Wilson gave up two runs on five hits, walking one and striking out seven in 6 1/3 innings against the D-backs on Friday. Wilson finished Cactus League play with a 1.33 ERA in 20 1/3 innings, and is slated to make his final preseason start at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday.
"This is the best I've thrown, really, in a long time, in terms of making guys put the ball in play," Wilson said. "The walks have always been a knock on me, and to go through this whole spring and walk like three dudes is pretty good to me."
With an announced crowd of 9,580 at Tempe Diablo Stadium, the Angels had their ninth sellout of the spring and established a new spring record for attendance (120,587) with one home game remaining. The old record was 118,191, set in 2008. Last year, they drew 88,893.
Michael Kohn (forearm strain) is scheduled to see the team doctor on Saturday, in hopes of throwing again on Sunday. Kohn is slated to start the season on the disabled list and would be eligible to come off on April 11.
Kohn, who hurled five scoreless one-inning appearances before being shut down, believes he'll be ready close to that time.
"Hopefully I'm ready as soon as possible," Kohn said. "I don't have a time frame, just take it day by day. But I don't necessarily have to go through all the throwing progressions because it's not like I went all spring without throwing."
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and 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.