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Young capitalizing on MLB time while he can

Called up to replace injured Trout, outfielder starting each game, hitting .333, but Maybin set to return
MLB.com

DETROIT -- Instead of weighing his results on hits or RBIs, Eric Young Jr. knows he's playing well when he walks in the clubhouse hours before a game and sees his name on the lineup sheet. What he values are his chances to play, and right now, he's capitalizing on them.

"He's been terrific," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He's worked hard to get back here, and he's making the most of an opportunity."

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DETROIT -- Instead of weighing his results on hits or RBIs, Eric Young Jr. knows he's playing well when he walks in the clubhouse hours before a game and sees his name on the lineup sheet. What he values are his chances to play, and right now, he's capitalizing on them.

"He's been terrific," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He's worked hard to get back here, and he's making the most of an opportunity."

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Young was called up on May 29 to replace the irreplaceable Mike Trout, who is still several weeks away from returning after having surgery to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament and dorsal capsule in his left thumb. In Trout's place, Young has started the past 10 games and is batting .333 with three doubles and three steals.

That includes three hits and three runs scored in Thursday's 11-4 win over the Tigers, with his double in the fifth igniting a four-run, go-ahead rally.

Video: LAA@DET: Angels bat around in four-run 5th inning

"Really not thinking about it too much," Young, 32, said of his success. "Enjoying seeing my name in the lineup."

The Angels signed Young, who is in his ninth season on his fifth team, as a free agent in January, and they sent him to Triple-A Salt Lake to start the year. He maintained a torrid offensive pace through 44 games with the Bees, batting .354 with 18 extra base-hits and 15 steals, earning a callup when Trout went down.

Had Young not been given the chance with the big club, his Triple-A performance this season and resume as a speedy, switch-hitting veteran could have earned him a job elsewhere. But after appearing in just six games with the Yankees last season, he was hoping something would fall into place in Anaheim.

"I wanted to be here, but if not, there's 29 other teams out there," Young said. "So if I go out there every day [in Triple-A] and make sure I get my work in, and keeping myself ready and keeping myself prepared, whenever that call was, I wanted to be ready to go."

With Trout out, the Angels have seen increased production from outfielders other than just Young. Kole Calhoun has hit safely in eight of his last nine games, and Cameron Maybin was heating up, batting .391 over his previous 12 games before joining Trout on the DL. With Maybin set to return to the lineup as soon as Friday, the team will need to determine where, if anywhere, the hot-hitting Young can fit into a crowded outfield.

"We'll see where we are," Scioscia said. "Wait until Cam's ready and then we can have some decisions. Only thing a player can do is put his best foot forward, and Eric is."

Jordan Horrobin is a reporter for MLB.com based in Detroit and covered the Angels on Thursday.

Los Angeles Angels, Eric Young Jr.