Ok, so usually when I post something about how someone should play more, or is better than you think, they immediately put up a stink bomb. The most obvious case this year was Madison Bumgarner having the worst starting pitching line of the year the day I posted that he was much better than his win-loss record. I'd been right a couple times, like when I talked about Desmond Jennings, but usually I make bold pronouncements and end up with egg on my face. So yesterday, when I posted about Mike Trout deserving more playing time, my assumption was that he'd start and go 0 for 5 with 3 strikeouts and ground into two double plays.
Trout did get the start last night, batting 7th against the Mariners. When Trout came up with the bases empty and one out in the second inning off of fellow rookie Anthony Vazquez, he hit a solo home run to deep LF to give the Angels a 1-0 lead. When he came up in the fourth inning with two on and one out, he hit a three run homer to give the Angels a 4-0 lead.
Two plate appearances, two home runs, driving in all four Angel runs.
Trout came up again in the 5th, with the game starting to get a bit out of hand. He walked with the bases loaded off of reliever Jeff Gray to "drive" in Torii Hunter to make it a 7-2 game, and scored on a Maicer Izturis double that made the score 10-2. He grounded out in the 7th and struck out in the ninth, giving him a game line of 2 for 4 with 2 homers, 3 runs, 5 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, and a WPA of +.338.
Trout now has a season line of .246/.306/.523. He wakes up with a slugging percentage higher than Mark Teixeira or Carlos Quentin. It's a very small sample, but we don't really have any evidence that he isn't really really good. It isn't about the future. Trout gives them the best chance to sneak past the Rangers into the playoffs this year.
Keep your eye on that lineup card tonight.