SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. -- Michael Trout spent four games with the Inland Empire 66ers on a rehab assignment to rejoin the Angels on Friday, after the All-Star break. Mission accomplished."I feel great," Trout said on Sunday. "I had my thumb in a splint when I first took batting practice, but
SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. -- Michael Trout spent four games with the Inland Empire 66ers on a rehab assignment to rejoin the Angels on Friday, after the All-Star break. Mission accomplished.
"I feel great," Trout said on Sunday. "I had my thumb in a splint when I first took batting practice, but I took that off a couple of days ago and there have been no problems."
Trout made five plate appearances Sunday night for Inland Empire, the Angels' Class A Advanced affiliate. He hit a triple, drew three walks and played center field all nine innings.
"He was fun to watch," said Chad Tracy, the 66ers manager. "He got better each and every game, and the way he ran the bases might be one of the best I've ever seen."
Trout said he felt fine and is ready to rejoin the Angels when they return from the All-Star break to host the Rays on Friday night. The plans originally called for Trout to play Monday with Inland Empire, but the Angels decided not to have him return.
While that might disappoint 66ers fans in the Inland Empire -- San Bernardino is about 40 miles from Anaheim -- there probably wasn't much purpose to having Trout for a fifth game. When he drew the three walks, there were boos from fans who wanted to see Trout swing the bat.
But with the two-time American League MVP batting .337 with a 1.203 OPS this season before the injury, Minor League pitchers can't be blamed for being careful when facing Trout.
Batting leadoff, he walked twice in the first inning, when the 66ers scored six runs. After taking a pitch outside and watching a low strike, he fouled off three consecutive pitches. The next three pitches were outside for his first walk. He walked on five pitches later in the inning.
In the fourth, Trout swung at the first pitch and hit a triple to center field. He walked on four pitches in the sixth, and hit into a double play in the seventh when a ball up the middle was slowed by the mound.
Sunday's attendance was 2,640, the smallest of the four games.
"I enjoyed playing here," Trout said. "I played with a great group of guys, and we were joking around and having fun."
George Alfano is a contributor to MLB.com.