ANAHEIM -- Angels center fielder Mike Trout was held out of the lineup with a right calf strain for a second straight game on Tuesday, but he’s optimistic he could return as soon as Wednesday against the Astros.
Trout, who sustained the injury while playing center field on Sunday, took batting practice without any issues for a second straight day on Tuesday, but he had yet to try to run to test the calf.
“It feels good,” Trout said. “Just being cautious. But I feel good, way better than yesterday. I don’t really even feel it today. Just being cautious, and we’ll see how I feel tomorrow.”
With Trout out, Brian Goodwin started in center field. Goodwin was reinstated from the 10-day injured list after missing nine games with a right wrist contusion suffered on a July 2 hit by pitch. Fellow outfielder Michael Hermosillo was optioned to Triple-A Salt Lake, just one day after being called up.
Trout said he plans to test the calf on Wednesday and will get a better sense for how it feels. He’s been receiving treatment from the training staff and isn’t walking with a noticeable limp.
“I obviously want to play,” Trout said. “They’re being smart. You have to be smart with this. I’ve had a lot of people tell me calves are no joke. But I feel good.”
Angels manager Brad Ausmus shared Trout’s optimism that he’ll return to the lineup soon but stopped short of saying exactly when. There’s a chance he could return as a designated hitter his first game back to ease back into playing center field.
“He feels better today than he did yesterday,” Ausmus said. “We don’t expect it to be much longer."
Ausmus open to using relievers three straight days
The Angels were cautious early in the year to not use their relievers for three games in a row, but now that it’s the second half of the season and the club remains in American League Wild Card contention, Ausmus said he’s more likely to do so.
Reliever Ty Buttrey pitched for a third straight day on Monday, marking the first time he’d done that all season in 44 appearances. Closer Hansel Robles is expected to be used similarly, as he’s yet to pitch in three straight days in 45 appearances this year.
“I tried not to overwork them early,” Ausmus said. “I still will try to avoid three days in a row, but there will be occasions where if it’s going to help us win a game, I will go three days. Certainly the pitch count they have in the previous two days would come into the play, the stress off the innings, but we need to win baseball games.”
Angels add another catcher
The Angels acquired catcher Anthony Bemboom from the Rays for cash considerations after he was designated for assignment. Bemboom was added to the 40-man roster and optioned to Salt Lake, giving the Angels some depth with Jonathan Lucroy expected to be out for three weeks after undergoing an operation to repair his fractured nose on Tuesday.
Bemboom, 29, was drafted by the Angels in 22nd round of 2012 Draft, but he was lost to the Rockies in the Rule 5 Draft before the 2017 season. He was 2-for-5 in the Majors this year and was hitting .209/.260/.313 with a homer and seven RBIs in 20 games in the Minors. He missed more than two months with a knee injury, but is healthy now.