The Angels continue to fade in the American League West, but they received some good news about their newest acquisition Tuesday.
According to Ramona Shelbourne of ESPNLosAngeles.com, not only did X-rays on Dan Haren’s forearm came back negative, the right-hander said he “should be on track” to make his next scheduled start against the first-place Rangers on Saturday.
“The X-rays didn’t show anything. They looked pretty clear so it’s just a
matter of getting the soreness and swelling out of there,” Haren said
Tuesday before the Angels’ game against the Red Sox.”
“I guess I got lucky,” he said. “Dr. [Lewis] Yocum said that if it had
hit an inch lower it would’ve been on the bone and that wouldn’t have
been good, obviously.”
Haren was forced out of his Angels’ debut Monday night after a Kevin Youkilis’ liner hit him on his throwing arm. It didn’t look good at the time, but Haren reported feeling “pretty good” after throwing from 150-200 feet on Tuesday and is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Wednesday. The Angels are surely thanking their lucky stars right now.
Everyone is well aware of how good Angels outfielder Mike Trout is at the game of baseball. The 26-year-old is already an all-time great, having won two MVP awards — and arguably deserving of two others — and the 2012 Rookie of the Year Award. He has accrued 54.2 WAR, per Baseball Reference, which is right around the threshold for a Hall of Fame career. Trout does it all: he draws walks, he hits for average, he hits for power, he steals bases, he plays good defense.
But here’s an achievement that is amazing even for a player like Trout: he has yet to strike out this spring. In 41 Cactus League plate appearances, he has 10 hits (including a triple and two homers) and six walks with zero strikeouts. Across his career, Trout has a 21.5 percent strikeout rate, right around the league average. He isn’t usually such a stickler for avoiding the punch-out, but this spring he is.
To put this in perspective, 134 players this spring have struck out at least 10 times, according to MLB.com. 938 players have struck out at least once. The only other players to have taken at least 10 at-bats without striking out this spring are Humberto Arteaga (Royals, 23 AB), Tony Cruz (Reds, 18 AB), Oscar Hernandez (Red Sox, 10 AB), and Jacob Stallings (Pirates, 18 AB).
According to Angels assistant hitting coach Paul Sorrento, the lack of strikeouts hasn’t been a conscious effort from Trout, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. Ho hum. The best player in baseball is apparently getting even better.