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Angels call up slugger Bour from Triple-A

@RhettBollinger
June 12, 2019

ANAHEIM -- After being at Triple-A Salt Lake for nearly a month, the Angels recalled veteran first baseman Justin Bour before Tuesday’s series finale against the Dodgers. Reliever Jake Jewell was optioned to Triple-A to make room for Bour. Bour, 31, was signed to a one-year deal worth $2.5 million

ANAHEIM -- After being at Triple-A Salt Lake for nearly a month, the Angels recalled veteran first baseman Justin Bour before Tuesday’s series finale against the Dodgers. Reliever Jake Jewell was optioned to Triple-A to make room for Bour.

Bour, 31, was signed to a one-year deal worth $2.5 million in the offseason, but he struggled with the Angels, hitting .163/.268/.316 with four homers and 14 RBIs in 30 games. But he fared much better at Triple-A, batting .292/.400/.611 with five homers, six doubles and 17 RBIs in 19 games.

"Honestly, after a couple days I felt like myself again," said Bour, who hit a three-run homer in the first inning on Tuesday. "I felt like I was swinging the bat relatively well. There are two ways of looking about it. You can be negative about it or positive about it. That's the mindset I had from the second I got down. I was going down there and use the time to work on things and get back."

Bour explained his success in the Minors wasn’t the result of tinkering with his mechanics, as he believes that he worried too much about those kinds of things early in the season and that it hurt him at the plate.

“I think I got too caught up in the mechanics and trying to be something I'm not,” Bour said. “I went down there to play the game of baseball and do what got me here in the first place."

Angels manager Brad Ausmus related to Bour’s struggles and said it can be hard to dig out of a hole when you start out slow offensively, especially with a new team.

“I think the hardest part is feeling like you’re letting your teammates down, letting the fans down, letting the organization down,” Ausmus said. “There’s a lot of failure in baseball. When you fail to that extent, it can take a mental toll on you as much as anything. I think that happened a little bit too him.”

Angels sign second-rounder Paris

The Angels agreed to terms with second-round Draft pick Kyren Paris on an overslot deal on Tuesday, as he signed for $1.4 million, which is slightly more than the $1.31 million allocated for the pick.

Paris, 17, is a shortstop from Freedom High School in Oakley, Calif., and was committed to Cal. He’s considered a strong athlete with plus-speed and the ability to stick at shortstop. Scouts are confident in his ability to make contact, but he’ll need to add more to his 6-foot, 165-pound frame to develop power. He’ll head to the club’s Spring Training complex to begin his professional career in the Rookie-level Arizona League.

“I'll be down there getting stronger and getting better and hopefully moving up pretty quick," Paris said. "For me being young, it would be the strength [I need to develop]. I'll definitely be in the weight room with player development. I can't wait to get after it."

Paris has also been involved with MLB's Elite Development Invitational since he was 13, participating in the annual event in Vero Beach, Fla. He also participated in the MLB Breakthrough Series and the Prospect Development Pipeline program created by MLB and USA Baseball.

"They've helped me tremendously,” Paris said. “They helped us with lessons not only about baseball but about life as well. Huge thanks to those guys over there working with MLB and USA and the Breakthrough Series. Definitely helped mold my game into what I have now."

Upton, Simmons nearing returns

Left fielder Justin Upton, who has been out all season with left turf toe, could rejoin the Angels before the end of their upcoming road trip through Tampa Bay, Toronto and St. Louis. Upton will continue to play in rehab games with Class A Advanced Inland Empire, as Ausmus was unsure if he’ll see any time at Triple-A Salt Lake before being activated. Upton is 3-for-8 in three games with Inland Empire.

"Up's doing well,” Ausmus said. “Had another good game last night in terms of how he's feeling."

Andrelton Simmons, meanwhile, has been out since May 20 with a Grade 3 left ankle sprain, but took batting practice on the field with his teammates for the first time on Monday. His next step will be facing live hitting and he won’t travel with the club on the road trip. He’s still considered at least a few weeks away from a return.

"He's not coming on the trip,” Ausmus said. “He's definitely progressing. I'm hoping he can get some live at-bats here relatively soon. But he won't be going with us."

Harvey pulled from rehab

Angels right-hander Matt Harvey, on the 10-day injured list with an upper back strain, was removed from his rehab assignment after suffering a setback. Harvey struggled in his lone rehab outing with Triple-A Salt Lake on Saturday, allowing eight runs on eight hits over 2 2/3 innings. There’s no timetable for his return.

“It was a re-aggravation so to speak,” Ausmus said.

Rhett Bollinger covers the Angels for MLB.com. He previously covered the Twins from 2011-18. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.