— The rosters for this month’s All-Star gamein Kansas City will be announced Sunday morning in an hourlong special on TBS. And though the Angels had only one player — first baseman Albert Pujols — among the top five vote-getters in the most recent fan balloting for the American League’s starting lineup, they have a number of others worthy of consideration for the team.
Slugger Mark Trumbo is one of only three players who rank among the league leaders in the three triple crown categories of average, home runs and runs batted in. And rookie outfielder Mike Trout leads the AL in hitting, stolen bases and excitement.
“He’s proved to be as good as what they’re saying,” reliever Scott Downs said of Trout. “From last year to this year he’s matured a lot. His approach has been a lot different. And his attitude has been unbelievable.
“It’s fun to watch him mature, it’s fun to watch him grow, watch him play.”
But, he adds, don’t forget about the Angels pitchers, who top the league in several categories. Not only are starters Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson among the leaders in wins and earned-run average, but Downs and bullpen teammate Ernesto Frieri are the two stingiest relievers in the league, having given up only one earned run in 52 appearances combined.
Downs refused to discuss his own All-Star chances, but he made it clear he’s rooting for Frieri, acquired from the San Diego Padres in early May.
“Look at what he’s done,” Downs said of Frieri, who has 40 strikeouts and has yet to give up a run in 23 1/3 AL innings. “He’s been dominant since he came over. It’s just a matter if he’s been over here long enough to open up some eyes.”
All-Star or not, Trout did prove he’s human Saturday, making an error and misplaying another ball into a triple while going hitless in four at-bats to end a career-best 11-game hitting streak.
In Toronto’s seven-run second inning, Trout threw wildly to third trying to get Jose Bautista. When the ball sailed well over the head of third baseman Alberto Callaspo and into the Toronto dugout, Bautista came home and Edwin Encarnacion advanced to third.
Kelly Johnson, the next batter, then dropped a hit in front of Trout, who allowed the ball to hop over his head for a run-scoring triple.
Catcher Chris Iannetta, on the disabled list since May 10, is expected to begin a light throwing program when the team gets to Cleveland on Monday. Iannetta has had to scrap several previous rehab programs because of a sore forearm…. And speaking of catchers throwing, Bobby Wilson and John Hester, Iannetta’s replacements, have thrown out 12 of 62 runners trying to steal.