Mike Trout rejoins the Angels, probably for good

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The Angels still haven’t officially announced the move, but Mike Trout has joined the team and is on the field taking early batting practice.  Mike DiGiovanna said earlier Friday that Vernon Wells could be placed on the DL to open up a roster spot.

If that’s the case, then Trout will probably play something close to full-time.  If not, then Trout is more likely to start three or four games per week in place of Wells and Bobby Abreu.

Trout, widely viewed as the game’s No. 2 prospect behind Bryce Harper, hit .163/.213/.279 with one homer in 43 at-bats in his first taste of the majors last month.  He just turned 20 earlier this month, and he hit an exceptional .326/.414/.544 with 11 homers and 33 steals for Double-A Arkansas this season.

Update: Horacio Ramirez was demoted to create room on the roster.  The Angels have Wells in left field, Trout in right field and Torii Hunter at DH tonight.

Aaron Judge set a new postseason strikeout record

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For a few days, it looked like Aaron Judge was finally hitting his stride in the postseason. He was still striking out at a regular clip, piling more and more strikeouts atop the 16 he racked up in the Division Series, but he was mashing, too. He engineered a three-run homer during Game 3 of the Championship Series, followed by another blast and game-tying double in Game 4. His one-out double helped pad a five-run lead in Game 5, while his 425-footer off of Brad Peacock barely made a dent during a 7-1 loss in Game 6. And then Lance McCullers‘ curveball found and fooled him, as it did five of the 14 batters it met in Game 7:

The strikeout was Judge’s first of the evening and 27th since the start of the playoffs. No other major league batter has racked up that many strikeouts in a single postseason, though Alfonso Soriano’s 26-strikeout record in 2003 comes the closest. Within that record, Judge also collected three golden sombreros (four strikeouts in a single game), narrowly avoiding the dreaded platinum sombrero (five strikeouts in a single game).

It’s an unfortunate footnote to a spectacular year for the rookie outfielder, who decimated the competition with 52 home runs and 8.2 fWAR during the regular season and was a pivotal part of the Yankees’ playoff run. Thankfully, the image of McCullers’ curveball darting just under Judge’s bat won’t be the image that sticks with us for years to come. Instead, it’ll look something like this: