SURPRISE, AZ - MARCH 02: Relief pitcher Alexi Ogando #41 of the Texas Rangers pitches to Mike Trout #90 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim during the spring training game at Surprise Stadium on March 2, 2011 in Surprise, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Alexi Ogando;Mike Trout
Fans of the Texas Rangers can thank a native son for the having some part in the Los Angeles Angels' terrible start to the 2012 season.
In case you've forgotten by now, the Angels got off to a horrid 6-14 start this season, while the Rangers jumped out to a 15-4 start, giving them an early cushion in what was supposed to the most entertaining divisional race in baseball this season.
But since then, the tables have turned as the Rangers have treaded water at .500 and the Angels have gone on a tear. A lot of that has to do with the re-addition of super prospect Mike Trout to the big-league roster after he started the season in Triple-A thanks to Mike Scioscia's insisting on having Vernon Wells, an Arlington native, in left field. Wells is now on the disabled list, likely shelved for up to 10 weeks. That's bad news for the Rangers, and the rest of the Angels' opponents.
Trout has now played in 30 of the Angels' 52 games and has excelled as the team's leadoff hitter while also playing in center field. He's hitting .303 with power (5 home runs) and lots and lots and lots of speed. In fact, Trout might be the fastest player in all of baseball and he's 8 for 10 on stolen base attempts so far.
He's been a spark for the Angels' lineup that got off to a woeful start and has been getting on base for guys like Albert Pujols, who's finally coming on after his comically bad start to the season.
So while many might be focusing on Pujols' turnaround as the answer to the Angels' trouble, look at that guy who's hitting leadoff for the Halos. He's the real problem.