Angels’ Mike Trout plays in Albert Pujols’ golf event, doesn’t worry about swing
CHICAGO — Mike Trout spent Monday with Albert Pujols and several other Angels teammates in a St. Louis suburb playing in the Pujols Family Foundation Celebrity Golf Classic.
Although Pujols, who is nursing right-knee and left-foot injuries, did not play in the event, Trout played 18 holes and led his foursome to victory.
Not once did Trout, an American League All-Star for the second straight year, worry that golfing in the middle of the season would mess up his baseball swing.
“The day after I last golfed in Albert’s tournament,” Trout said, referring to a May 20 event at Trump National Golf Club in Rancho Palos Verdes, “I hit for the cycle.”
That baseball feat came in Angel Stadium when Trout, after striking out in the first inning, singled in the third, tripled in the fourth, doubled in the sixth and homered in the eighth inning of the Angels’ 12-0 win over Seattle.
“I don’t know if golfing helped,” Trout said, “but maybe it helped me hit that home run in my last at-bat.”
A bigger concern for Manager Mike Scioscia was that Trout would participate in next Monday’s home run derby. Scioscia is no fan of the event, saying it was like “being on a driving range and hitting 10 buckets of balls. ... I haven’t seen somebody come away from that derby and be a better player for it.”
Scioscia’s fears were not realized. Trout said he was not asked to participate, and Tuesday slugger Yoenis Cespedes of the Oakland Athletics was selected as the final member of the AL derby team to go along with Baltimore’s Chris Davis, Detroit’s Prince Fielder and New York’s Robinson Cano.
Trout spoke to Scioscia on Sunday, and the manager made it clear, in so many words, that he preferred Trout turn down any derby invitation.
“He said it would be my call, but he didn’t want me to do it because nothing good comes out of it,” Trout said. “Maybe it’s something I can do later down the road.”
Trying to avoid the brick wall
Trout received some sound advice before playing his first game in Chicago’s Wrigley Field on Tuesday night.
“Don’t run into the wall full speed,” he said.
The walls of the 99-year-old park, known as the “Friendly Confines,” are anything but friendly. Behind the lush, green layer of ivy is solid brick.
Swirling winds can also wreak havoc on fly balls and popups and turn routine fly balls into home runs, but Trout wasn’t deterred.
“It’s going to be fun out there,” he said. “I like going to the old stadiums. Fenway Park is really cool. I’m going to walk around tomorrow and check this place out.”
Reliever Sean Burnett, out since May 27 because of an elbow impingement, played catch for the first time since going on the disabled list. The left-hander hopes to begin throwing off a mound in two weeks. … Right-hander Tommy Hanson (forearm strain) is scheduled to throw off a mound Wednesday.
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