ANAHEIM -- Angels center fielder Mike Trout has run away with the American League All-Star voting, generating a large and seemingly insurmountable lead over other AL outfielders.Trout's outfield mate, right fielder Kole Calhoun, certainly has made himself a case to join the former AL MVP in San Diego for the
ANAHEIM -- Angels center fielder Mike Trout has run away with the American League All-Star voting, generating a large and seemingly insurmountable lead over other AL outfielders.
Trout's outfield mate, right fielder Kole Calhoun, certainly has made himself a case to join the former AL MVP in San Diego for the All-Star game on July 12. Calhoun, the 2015 Gold Glove Award winner, has maintained his role as one of the driving forces in the Angels' lineup.
"Kole's been very, very consistent ever since he started getting consistent at-bats a couple years ago in the big leagues to where he is now," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He's very versatile with how you can use him in the lineup, bringing the on-base percentage and the ability to drive the ball. That's a great talent."
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Through 76 games this season, he's produced a slash line of .290/.361/.452 with 10 homers and 40 RBIs, bringing his batting average up from last season's .256 while also adding to his power by improving from his .422 slugging percentage. Among AL right fielders, Calhoun currently ranks 4th in Wins Above Replacement (10th among AL outfielders).
He's made an impression on Trout, who has worked with Calhoun since the right fielder broke into the Majors in '12.
"He's up there [among right fielders]," Trout said. "I've played with Torii [Hunter] and some of the older guys, but he's got a Gold Glove and comes into the part every day trying to work and just be better."
Calhoun's continued production and improvement have elevated him among the best right fielders in baseball. The next accolade for Calhoun to accomplish would be an All-Star appearance.
"It's something that would be an honor, for sure," Calhoun said. "It's something every player thinks about, but I'm not going to hang my hat on it. It's not going to make or break my season."
For Scioscia, there's no hesitation as to where he sees Calhoun in the game of baseball.
"There's no doubt he should get All-Star consideration," Scioscia said. "The All-Star selection is a little dicey of a procedure, but [Kole] is an All-Star caliber player, no doubt."
• Angels third baseman Yunel Escobar remained out of the lineup for Tuesday's game against Houston, and is unlikely to play Wednesday. Scioscia said he's "hopeful" that Escobar, who is dealing with a bone bruise in his left knee, would be available when the team opens its series in Boston on Friday.
• Angels catcher Geovany Soto worked out in the bullpen before Tuesday's game against the Astros, and if he comes out of it well, Scioscia said he'd be able to start a rehab assignment. Soto hasn't played since undergoing surgery to repair the meniscus in his right knee on May 18.
• Angels infielder Cliff Pennington underwent an MRI on his strained left hamstring, which revealed he's making progress in his recovery. He's been participating in baseball activities, and hasn't experienced any setbacks.
• Angels left-hander Tyler Skaggs threw 4 1/3 innings with Class A Advanced Inland Empire on Monday, his first competitive outing since April. Angels GM Billy Eppler said Skaggs would throw five innings with Triple-A Salt Lake before taking the next step.
• Right-hander Nick Tropeano was solid in his first start back with Triple-A on Tuesday, giving up two runs on three hits in 6 2/3 innings. Tropeano was optioned Friday after being activated from the 15-day DL, as the Angels found themselves with six starters for five slots. Eppler said the fact that Tropeano was one of the few pitchers with options remaining was influential.
"Sometimes you run into situations when you might feel the club needs to maintain as much depth as possible," he said. "And some pieces are flexible and some pieces are not."
Fabian Ardaya is a reporter for MLB.com based in Anaheim.