Scioscia, Trout don't blame wrist for slump
Manager doesn't think slugger's injury carried over
CLEVELAND -- The worst month of Mike Trout's career has immediately followed an injury to his left wrist, a troubling ailment for any right-handed power hitter.
Trout has previously denied any correlation, but as the slump prolongs, the curiosity increases.
"Mike is not going to make excuses," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He swung the bat really well when he first came back from the wrist injury. He says he feels fine. The medical department says he's fine. I don't think there's any carryover."
Trout hurt his wrist diving for a fly ball by Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus on July 26. Adrenaline allowed him to stay in the game and record three more hits, including a grand slam that made him the fastest in franchise history to reach 30 home runs in a season. But the wrist got sore during the ensuing off-day, and Trout sat out the next two games in Houston.
The 24-year-old center fielder then went 0-for-3 on July 30 and 3-for-4 with a homer on July 31, ultimately being named the American League Player of the Month for July.
Then came August.
Twenty-six games into this month, Trout was batting .200/.339/.300 with only one home run, five other extra-base hits and 30 strikeouts. His August OPS entering Saturday's game -- .639 - is easily his lowest of any month since his first full season in 2012, a skid that has coincided with a severe drop-off for the entire Angels offense.
Trout said his "front side is flying open" and his "swing's been getting a little long," issues that typically result in not getting his front foot down on time. The wrist is probably healthy now, but initially compensating for it could've thrown off his mechanics.
"It could," Scioscia said, "but I don't think the injury was that severe where he changed his swing."
• Left-handed-hitting left fielder David DeJesus would've been an ideal candidate to start against Corey Kluber, a right-hander he's 5-for-15 against lifetime. But Scioscia held DeJesus out of the lineup for a ninth consecutive game because he's more comfortable with C.J. Cron at designated hitter, a move that makes cleanup hitter David Murphy the left fielder.
• Cuban shortstop Roberto Baldoquin has improved at Class A Advanced Inland Empire, batting .277/.308/.333 since the start of July. Baldoquin, given an $8 million signing bonus over the offseason, got off to a rough start and then missed nearly two months earlier this season with a strained lat muscle. He'll probably play winter ball to see more live pitching this offseason.