Angels explain why they sent Mike Trout back to Double-A rather than Triple-A

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When the Angels optioned 19-year-old stud prospect Mike Trout to the minors earlier this week I wondered why they sent him back to Double-A, where he’d already dominated for 75 games, instead of Triple-A, where he’d yet to play.

Turns out, they want him to get playoff experience.

Mike Scioscia told Jordan Garretson of MLB.com that the level of competition isn’t much different between the two levels and the Triple-A team is below .500 while the Double-A team is in first place.

We really feel strongly that in a player’s development it’s important to experience the playoffs. In Mike’s case, he’s a guy that’s leading a team to the playoffs. There’s a comfort level there. He just needs to play.

It’ll be interesting to see if the Angels bring Trout back to the majors for a playoff run of their own, because even if his bat isn’t quite ready to thrive in the majors as a teenager his incredible speed and outfield defense would definitely come in handy.

Alex Dickerson to miss 2017 season after undergoing back surgery

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Padres’ outfielder Alex Dickerson won’t see PETCO Park anytime soon — at least, not as its starting left fielder. The 27-year-old was diagnosed with a bulging disc in his lower back prior to the start of the 2017 season, and hasn’t made any kind of substantial progress in the months since. According to Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune, he suffered a setback in his recovery process last week and is set to undergo a season-ending discectomy next Wednesday.

Over 285 plate appearances, Dickerson batted .257/.333/.455 with 10 home runs and a .788 OPS for the Padres in 2016. He missed several days with a right hip contusion last July, but hasn’t experienced any substantial health problems since undergoing surgery in 2014 to repair a torn ligament in his left ankle.

The expected recovery period for lower back surgery is 3-4 months, according to Lin, which puts Dickerson’s estimated return just a few days before the end of the regular season. The Padres aren’t scraping the bottom of the NL West, but their 29-44 record doesn’t bode well for a postseason run this year. Assuming Dickerson rehabs his back in a timely manner, he should be in fine form to enter the competition for left field next spring.

Video: Hanley Ramirez’s No. 250 career home run barely left the field

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Hanley Ramirez played a pivotal role during the Red Sox’ 9-4 win over the Angels on Friday night, crushing a two-run homer off of Alex Meyer to bring the Sox up to a four-run lead in the fourth inning.

Well, crushed might be the wrong word. The ball cleared the right field fence with a mere 350 feet, landing just beyond Pesky’s Pole to bring Ramirez’s career home run total to an even 250.

According to the ESPN Home Run Tracker, Ramirez’s milestone blast wasn’t the shortest home run of the year — not by a long shot. That distinction currently belongs to Rays’ outfielder Corey Dickerson, who skimmed the left field fence at Rogers Centre with a 326-foot homer back in April.