OAKLAND — Mike Trout, who has been out with a tight left hamstring, went through about 20 minutes worth of agility drills on the field before Wednesday afternoon’s game.
Manager Mike Scioscia said he was “hoping” that if Trout can follow up Wednesday’s workout with a full test on Thursday — hitting, running the bases and taking fly balls — that he could be in the lineup Thursday night. Trout took batting practice on the field Tuesday night, the first time he’d done so since Saturday.
Trout has been out of the Angels lineup five days in a row, and six out of seven. Previously, he had missed as many as three straight games just once in his five years as an everyday player, and that was in 2013.
“Needless to say, he wants to play,” Scioscia said. “Short of begging, he wants to be out there. That decision is a medical staff decision. If it was up to us, he’d be out there. We want him out there, but this is the right course of action for him.”
Scioscia reiterated he doesn’t see DH as an option to get Trout back in the lineup sooner, even though he can hit.
“We would consider DH but a hamstring is a different animal,” Scioscia said. “It’s tough to sit down and stay warm between DHing, but if it comes to pass where he needs a couple days just to manage this, we can consider that. As far as swinging the bat, he’s great.”
The Angels are in the midst of a string of nine consecutive games against right-handed starters, assuming the probable pitchers for this weekend’s four-game series against the Detroit Tigers go unchanged.
After facing Chicago White Sox lefty Derek Holland on Monday, they are scheduled to see two more righties. Then they have a three-city trip in which they’ll see the New York Mets, Tampa Bay Rays and Miami Marlins, and those teams have two left-handed starters among them.
Although the length of C.J. Cron’s rehab assignment is a medical question, and not a baseball one, the prevalence of righties means the Angels aren’t missing much while he’s out, at least a few more days.
The Angels have been using Luis Valbuena against right-handed pitchers, so there doesn’t figure to be much playing time in the next couple weeks for Cron or Jefry Marte.
Besides that, the Angels have two upcoming series at National League parks, so Albert Pujols will probably start at first in most of those games.
The abundance of righties also likely means more playing time for Cliff Pennington. Danny Espinosa has been slumping badly, particularly against right-handed pitchers.
It could be good news for Ben Revere, a left-handed hitter who has been hot lately. Revere and Cameron Maybin have both been playing while Mike Trout has been out. When Trout returns, Revere could be the one who gets the majority of the playing time instead of the right-handed hitting Maybin.
Pujols was out of the lineup Wednesday for a “recharge day,” Scioscia said. …
The San Diego Padres claimed right-hander Jose Valdez on waivers. The Angels had designated Valdez for assignment last week.
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