08/20/11 2:00 AM ET
Trout provides clout in return to Angel Stadium
By David Ely / Special to MLB.com
Trout, ranked by MLB.com as one of the top two prospects in the game along with Washington's Bryce Harper, started in right field on Friday with Torii Hunter in the designated hitter spot. Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Trout has a chance to play at least three days a week.
"He's going to be out there," Scioscia said. We really don't want to bring him up here to sit. ... We'll get him in there as much as we can. He's certainly going to help us off the bench and play enough to contribute."
In a corresponding move, the Angels optioned right-hander Horacio Ramirez to Triple-A Salt Lake to clear a spot for Trout on the 25-man roster.
Judging by the club's performance on Friday with Trout in the lineup and the rookie's eighth-inning home run, the Angels might want to reconsider the initial plans to have Trout be a part-time starter.
The Angels' offense exploded in Friday's 8-3 win, and Trout unloaded on reliever Kevin Gregg for his second career home run and first at home.
The sound from Trout's bat on the homer reverberated throughout Angel Stadium and was a topic of conversation in the Angels' clubhouse after the game.
"That was loud, that was loud," Scioscia said. "He's an exciting player for a lot of reasons, and one of them is definitely his power potential. He showed some of that tonight."
Said Hunter: "It sounded like a thunderstorm. It's pretty impressive. ... I call him Lil' Hunt. That's his name because I've got a son his age."
While Trout was known as more of a line-drive hitter during his time in Arkansas this year -- 11 home runs in 91 games -- Scioscia said that might have more to do with the Arkansas stadium than Trout's ability to hit for power.
"The park in Arkansas from what I understand, he probably could have had some more home runs there than what showed up," Scioscia said. "The thing about Mike is he's got strong opposite field power."
Friday's start marked Trout's first in right field in the Majors, and Trout said his experience at the position, more or less, is limited to Spring Training. While Trout doesn't boast the prototypical right-field arm, Scioscia isn't concerned about his ability to make the necessary plays at the position.
"His arm strength is good at center, left field obviously, right field there's a little different dimension you have," Scioscia said. "I think his ability to charge the ball and his accuracy throwing will make him an asset to be able to control the running game from right field."
Trout hit .163 (7-for-43) in 14 games with the Angels after making his Major League debut on July 7. The 20-year-old outfielder felt he was hitting the ball hard, but right at defenders.
Trout was hitting .333 for Arkansas since being sent back to the Minors on Aug. 1, and said he's better prepared for his second stint in the Majors.
"I feel more comfortable this time," said Trout, who left Corpus Christi, Texas, early Friday morning to join the team. "I know the guys. I know what to expect."
It's no secret why Trout was brought back to the big club. The Angels are hitting just .221 since the All-Star break and have struggled to get production from the corner outfield spots with the exception of Hunter, who's hitting .417 for the month.
Vernon Wells' average currently sits at the Mendoza line. Bobby Abreu has struggled since the Midsummer Classic, hitting .173 with just seven extra base hits.
Trout's addition likely will impact Abreu and Wells' playing time the most, Scioscia said there will be times when Trout will be asked to give one of the Halos' other outfielders a day off.
"I think that there's going to be times when maybe Bobby's not in the lineup or Vernon's not going to be in the lineup, but it's not going to be totally at their expense," Scioscia said. "There's a lot of ways that we can move some things around."
David Ely is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.