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Trout on track following second rehab game

MLB.com

ARLINGTON -- All-Star outfielder Mike Trout didn't get many productive at-bats during his second rehab game with Class A Advanced Inland Empire on Thursday, but manager Mike Scioscia said Trout is still on schedule to return next Friday.

Trout went 0-for-2 in his appearance with Inland Empire on Thursday. He struck out and grounded out, but he reached base twice: on a hit-by-pitch and catcher's interference. Scioscia said the pitch hit Trout on the elbow pad he was wearing, so he wasn't injured.

ARLINGTON -- All-Star outfielder Mike Trout didn't get many productive at-bats during his second rehab game with Class A Advanced Inland Empire on Thursday, but manager Mike Scioscia said Trout is still on schedule to return next Friday.

Trout went 0-for-2 in his appearance with Inland Empire on Thursday. He struck out and grounded out, but he reached base twice: on a hit-by-pitch and catcher's interference. Scioscia said the pitch hit Trout on the elbow pad he was wearing, so he wasn't injured.

Trout's recovery from a torn UCL in his left thumb, the skipper noted, is more about getting the intricacies of batting and playing down rather than simply producing runs during his rehab time.

"He's just trying to find some timing, seeing some velocity today," Scioscia said. "He'll take a recovery day, work out, he'll play the outfield tomorrow."

The projected return date for Trout isn't set in stone, though. The Angels aren't going to rush him back if he's not ready.

"We're not going to get him ready to a schedule," Scioscia said. "He's going to be ready when he's ready. ... I think on the offensive side, getting Mike back is going to give us an important lift to an area we've struggled in, and hopefully the rest of it will continue to add depth as we continue to move forward."

So for now, Trout will continue playing with Inland Empire through the middle of next week. Some thought was given to letting him play with Triple-A Salt Lake, but with the Triple-A All-Star break as well, it made more sense to give him actual playing time.

"He just needs to see velocity and hopefully find a little bit of timing," Scioscia said. "You can find that in A-ball as far as Triple-A. The thing with Triple-A was going to be disjointed. They're off on Monday where he can play all the way through in A-ball until whatever he needs next week."

The Angels have hovered around .500 since Trout was placed on the DL on May 29. But Friday night's 10-0 loss to the Rangers was the third time in five games that the Angels haven't scored a run.

"Our bullpen has been really strong. Our rotation, we feel, has been holding its own. There are some guys who are going to be in uncharted water, but I feel one thing is we need is to start scoring more runs," Scioscia said. "Not that Mike's going to be the catalyst to do that, but it's certainly not going to hurt to get him back in the lineup."

Sam Butler is a reporter for MLB.com based in Arlington.

Los Angeles Angels, Mike Trout