Mike Trout

Angels' moves hurt Phillies' chances of catching Trout

ap-angels-mike-trout.jpg
AP Images

Angels' moves hurt Phillies' chances of catching Trout

The Eagles made Angel Stadium in Anaheim their home away from home last week. The entire team was greeted with a gift of a Mike Trout bobblehead. Nigel Bradham even used the Millville native and Birds season ticketholder's locker to dress. Trout left a personalized message to his favorite team prior to the Rams game.

Yet another link that it is kismet for the native son, the best player in his sport, to return someday soon to Philadelphia and play for the team he grew up rooting for? After all, the Phillies are flush with spending money should the opportunity arise. They appear to have the makings of a strong nucleus that could lure the 26-year-old back East. His deal runs through 2020 and Trout would be only 29 at the end of that contract. Seems perfect, right?  

Not so fast, my red pinstriped friends.

Hold on, we'll get to that in one minute. If you've been comatose the last seven seasons, all Trout has done since debuting in the big leagues in 2011 is win two MVPs, finish second in MVP voting three times and make six All-Star Games. The marriage here with the Phillies, a team he was a die-hard fan of growing up — even attending the 2008 World Series Championship parade as a senior in high school — would be one made in heaven. 

Adding fodder to the Trout-to-Philly hype is the Angels have reached the postseason only once in his time there. The hope from a fan's perspective would be Anaheim would continue to languish in mediocrity and eventually be forced to move Trout to possibly begin a rebuild, or he would play out his deal and walk. Wishful thinking? Sure. Out of the question? No. Trout has a full no-trade, so he can pick and choose where he ends up if he wishes to leave Southern California for South Philly prior to the end of his deal.

However, there may be a fly in the ointment. Despite it being only December, the Angels have had themselves an offseason. They signed Japanese two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani. The 23-year-old is a three-pitch starter who can touch over 100 mph on the gun with his fastball. He posted a 1.86 ERA in 140 innings for his Nippon-Ham club in Japan's Pacific League, a very high level of baseball. He also batted .322 with a .416 on-base percentage, while slugging .588 last season. In 2016, he hit 22 home runs. This was a major coup for the Angels, who won a bidding war over many other suitors around the league to land the right-handed pitching, left-handed hitting Ohtani.  

The Angels also signed veteran second baseman Ian Kinsler, a four-time All-Star and 2016 Gold Glove winner. Despite being 35, Kinsler is a major upgrade from what they had last year at the position. Anaheim also traded for Justin Upton late last year and re-signed him in the offseason. He'll play next to Trout in left. The Angels still need to upgrade their pitching. But on paper, they have the makings of a potent lineup that, with some pitching help, could land a wild-card spot in the playoffs. That is not music to Phillies fans' ears.

We're a long way away from 2020, so a lot can happen both here and 2,376 miles away in Orange County. The Phillies need to hope their current young nucleus blossoms like the group of Rollins, Utley, Howard and Hamels did in the mid-2000s. They should also keep a close eye on their neighbors to the West and cross their fingers things don't go so well. If both scenarios play out in their favor, the Phillies could reel in the biggest fish in franchise history.

Every Eagles player gets to take home a Mike Trout bobblehead

Every Eagles player gets to take home a Mike Trout bobblehead

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The weather is gorgeous this week in Southern California, but the Eagles won't get too much time to enjoy it. They are on a business trip. 

At least they all got a souvenir. 

When the Eagles got into the home clubhouse at Angel Stadium, there was a present in each locker stall: a Mike Trout bobblehead. 

The bobblehead is from Trout's MVP 2016 season. He's sliding into a base face-first and the bottom lists his statistics from the season. 

Nigel Bradham, who is using Trout's locker stall for the week, showed off his new present to an NBC Sports Philadelphia camera. 

"I'll pull it out because he let me rent his spot out," Bradham said, as he slid the styrofoam protective wrapper out of the box and then Trout from the styrofoam. "He's sliding into home plate. His head doesn't bobble that much. You gotta get it pretty good." 

Trout, the Millville, New Jersey, native, has become friends with Carson Wentz and other Eagles. Trout is a huge Eagles fans and is in the stands for most home games. 

Wentz said he had been texting Trout, but the slugger is home in New Jersey "hunting it up." 

The real Trout isn't in Southern California this week, but at least every Eagle will get to take home a mini one. 

"We got a Mike Trout bobblehead," Lane Johnson said, looking at the box. "That's pretty nice. I'll have to put that up in the house somewhere."

Best of MLB: Trout hits 2 home runs as Angels rough up Orioles

usa-mike-trout-angels.jpg
USA Today Images

Best of MLB: Trout hits 2 home runs as Angels rough up Orioles

BALTIMORE -- Mike Trout and Luis Valbuena each hit two home runs off Kevin Gausman, and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-1 on Saturday night for their eighth win in 10 games.

Trout homered in the first and third innings, and Valbuena connected in the second and fourth to give Los Angeles a four-run lead.

It marked the second straight night in which the Angels got all their runs via the long ball. In the series opener, Los Angeles homered five times in a 9-7 defeat.

Trout went deep Friday night, too, and now has 26 home runs. He has six seasons with at least 25, tied with Tim Salmon for most in franchise history.

It was Trout's first multihomer game of the season and ninth of his career.

JC Ramirez (11-10) allowed one run and five hits over 5 2/3 innings before leaving with right forearm tightness. In his last start against the Orioles, the right-hander gave up six runs in seven innings on Aug. 7 (see full recap).

Sabathia strong in return from DL, Yankees beat Red Sox 4-3
BOSTON -- Tyler Austin hit a three-run home run, Todd Frazier added a solo homer and CC Sabathia retired 13 of the first 14 batters he faced as the New York Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox 4-3 on Saturday night.

In snapped a three-game losing streak for the Red Sox, and trimmed their lead over the Yankees to four games in the AL East race.

Sabathia (10-5), returning from a stint on the disabled list because of sore right knee, retired 13 of the first 14 batters he faced on the way to improving to 3-0 in three starts against Boston this season. He allowed two runs and four hits to earn his first victory since July 21. Dellin Betances got the last three outs for his ninth save.

Chris Sale (14-5) struck out nine, but was tagged for the four runs and seven hits. He is still looking for his first victory in the rivalry (see full recap).

Gonzalez, 4 pitchers lead Dodgers past Tigers, 3-0
DETROIT -- Adrian Gonzalez's seventh-inning single broke a scoreless tie and the Los Angeles Dodgers went on to beat the Detroit Tigers 3-0 on Saturday.

The win was the Dodgers' sixth in a row and 21st in 24 games. Detroit has lost six straight and 12 of 14.

Dodgers right fielder Cody Bellinger left the game in the seventh inning. He rolled his right ankle in the sixth while catching a fly ball from Nicholas Castellanos. Yasiel Puig hit for him the next inning. Bellinger is listed as day-to-day.

Hyun-Jin Ryu pitched five innings, allowing three hits and walking four while striking out four. He needed 89 pitches to get through five innings, and was replaced by eventual winner Ross Stripling (3-4).

Brandon Morrow and Kenley Jansen finished off the shutout, with Jansen pitching the ninth for his 33rd save.

Tigers starter Michael Fulmer (10-11) gave up an unearned run, three hits and two walks in seven innings. He struck out six (see full recap).

Berrios shuts out D-backs through 7 as Twins win
MINNEAPOLIS -- Jose Berrios threw seven innings for his 11th win to lead Minnesota over Arizona 5-0 on Saturday night, helping the Twins keep pace in the AL wild card race.

The Twins, who entered the night in a tie with the Los Angeles Angels for the second wild card spot, scored five runs off Diamondbacks starter Zack Greinke (14-6) in the fourth after a costly error by second baseman Daniel Descalso ended a chance for a double play. Max Kepler drove in two runs during the inning, and Brian Dozier and Joe Mauer each had an RBI single.

That was more than enough for Berrios (11-6), who allowed only two hits for the second time this month, and got some solid defensive support to win for the second time in three starts. Berrios combined with reliever Alan Busenitz to retire the last 19 Arizona batters.

Greinke had won four of his previous five but ended the night with his shortest outing this season. He allowed seven hits and four walks, while striking out four (see full recap).