Trout says he's OK not taking part in HR Derby
CHICAGO -- Mike Trout will not be taking part in Monday's Chevrolet Home Run Derby at Citi Field. That became official on Tuesday, when Major League Baseball announced that A's slugger Yoenis Cespedes would be the fourth and final participant for the American League, joining the Orioles' Chris Davis, the Tigers' Prince Fielder and the Yankees' Robinson Cano.
But Trout said Tuesday that he was never asked by Cano, who's serving as the AL captain for the second straight year. And a few days earlier, Angels manager Mike Scioscia strongly recommended that his star outfielder not take part.
"He doesn't want me to do it because nothing good comes out of it," said Trout, who took part in a Minor League Derby three years ago.
"I did one in Low A in the Minor Leagues. Yeah, I had fun with it. But I don't know if it was my thing."
Trout did say that "maybe later down the road" he'd think about taking part in one. Generally speaking, Scioscia said Sunday that he's "not a fan" of the event, adding: "It's grueling for a participant. The number of full gorilla swings you take, it's like being on a driving range and hitting 10 buckets of balls. It's tough. I haven't seen someone come away from that Derby and be a better player for it."
Albert Pujols agrees with his skipper on how tiring the event can be, but says the three days your body has to recover before the start of the second half is normally plenty of time.
Pujols took part in the 2009 Home Run Derby in St. Louis, making it to the second round, and liked the experience. Cano invited him to participate last year in Kansas City, where Pujols attended high school and community college, and he would've gone had he been selected onto the All-Star team.
When he wasn't, Pujols recommended his teammate, Mark Trumbo, who made it to the second round and put on a show. But then Trumbo went on a prolonged slump shortly after the All-Star break, once again raising the question of whether the Derby can alter a player's swing.
Trumbo disagrees, saying that it was "business as usual" at the plate once the games resumed.
"I think if you get to this level, you should be able to have a decent understanding of what you can do and have some bat control," Trumbo said. "In that situation, you're trying to get under some balls. But it shouldn't be terribly hard to adjust out of that. You are going to be sore. If you go far enough, physically you're going to be a little bit tired."