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Angels Manager Mike Scioscia torn over how to handle Mike Trout

The Angels have won nine of 12 games the 19-year-old prospect has started, but Scioscia is concerned about Trout's development.

July 29, 2011|By Kevin Baxter
  • Angels rookie Mike Trout is congratulated by third baseman Alberto Callaspo after hitting a three-run home run against the Orioles on Sunday.
Angels rookie Mike Trout is congratulated by third baseman Alberto Callaspo… (Rob Carr / Getty Images )

Reporting from Detroit — Angels Manager Mike Scioscia remains conflicted over what to do with teenage prospect Mike Trout.

On one hand, Trout is probably more valuable to the Angels than any player they could call up to take his place. But at 19 and just two years removed from high school, he needs to play every day to continue developing — something that, barring a trade or injury, he won't do at the big-league level this summer.

"At the end of the trip we'll see where he is," Scioscia said Friday, eight days into the team's 10-game trip. "Mike's done some good things for us when he's gotten his opportunity.

"If the need for him becomes more apparent as we move forward, he'll be here. But right now there's a huge development component that is important to a kid in his position."

Trout opened the trip with a two-hit game in Baltimore in which he scored twice and stole his first base. Two days later he hit his first big-league homer, and in his only start in Cleveland he contributed a scoring fly ball in support of Ervin Santana's no-hitter.

And though Trout is hitting just .163 after striking out on three pitches Friday, the Angels have won nine of the 12 games he's started.

But is the short-term help he'll provide worth stunting his long-term progress? That's the question Scioscia is wrestling with.

"Development is as much experience playing the position as it is just physically going out there and getting used to a long season," Scioscia said. "If you want to play in the major leagues, you're not playing 140 games. You're playing 162, plus playoffs.

"So for him to maybe end up with 100 games played this year would stifle his development both from an experience standpoint understanding his game, his swing, the routes in the outfield, jumps stealing bases and just physically getting the body moving."

Trade winds stalled

As the clock ticks toward Sunday's nonwaiver trade deadline, it's appearing more and more unlikely the Angels will make a move.

"I like our team," Scioscia said. "I still feel that most of our advancement in the second half of the season is going to come in-house."

One player it appears the Angels won't be getting is Chicago Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez, who Friday backtracked from earlier comments suggesting he was open to waiving his no-trade rights by tell reporters: "I'm not going anywhere."

Ramirez, who is batting .291 with 19 home runs and 63 runs batted in, told Cubs General Manager Jim Hendry he wants to stay in Chicago. He then tried to clarify his earlier remarks by saying he was open to a trade only if the Cubs went into rebuilding mode by dealing numerous players before the deadline. As of Friday afternoon the Cubs had dealt only outfielder Kosuke Fukudome, whom they sent to Cleveland.

Ramirez is due $14.6 million this season, and if he gets traded, his $16-million option for 2012 becomes guaranteed.

Times staff writer Mike DiGiovanna contributed to this report.

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