Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News reports that the Giants have activated Carlos Beltran from the disabled list. No word yet on the corresponding roster move, but Nate Schierholtz is unavailable tonight due to ongoing soreness in his right foot while Jonathan Sanchez still can’t throw off a mound due to a left ankle sprain.
Beltran hasn’t played since since August 7 due to a strained right hand. He was cleared to return after taking batting practice from both sides of the plate before tonight’s game, but is not in the starting lineup.
The Giants acquired Beltran from the Mets last month in exchange for prospect right-hander Zach Wheeler. The 34-year-old outfielder is batting just .244/.261/.356 with one double, two triples and a .616 OPS over 46 plate appearances since joining San Francisco. The Giants are 8-16 since the trade.
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.