Top prospect Mike Trout maintained his .500 average for Triple-A Salt Lake on Monday, going 2-for-4 and hitting his first homer. He’s 10-for-20 in five games for the Bees.
There will certainly be call in Anaheim for Trout to replace Vernon Wells in the Angels outfield if this keeps up. Wells is off to a 2-for-14 start (though one of those hits was a homer), and he was left out of Monday’s lineup in favor of Bobby Abreu. It’s doubtful the Angels will do anything for a few weeks yet, but at some point, they’ll have to address the likelihood that Trout is a better player than Wells, regardless of what the contracts say.
Trout is regarded by most as one of the two best position prospects in the minors, with Bryce Harper claiming the other spot. The 20-year-old hit .220/.281/.390 with five homers in 123 at-bats with the Angels last year.
Jon Morosi of MLB Network and FOX Sports reports that the Mariners have acquired starter Chris Heston from the Giants. The Giants will receive a player to be named later, per Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.
Heston, 28, logged only five innings in the majors this past season as he battled an oblique injury and otherwise spent most of his time with Triple-A Sacramento. Heston was solid out of the Giants’ rotation in 2015, posting a 3.95 ERA with a 141/64 K/BB ratio in 177 2/3 innings over 31 starts.
Heston will be under team control through 2021. He’ll provide depth for the Mariners’ rotation in the meantime.
Joe Nathan‘s agent, David Pepe, says his client wants to pitch in 2017, per ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick. “He’s like the Energizer Bunny,” Pepe said.
Nathan, 42, came back from Tommy John surgery in July, pitching two scoreless innings for the Cubs with four strikeouts and two walks. The Cubs released him and the Giants picked him up, and Nathan went on to pitch 4 1/3 scoreless innings down the stretch with five strikeouts and two walks.
According to FanGraphs, Nathan’s velocity wasn’t where it used to be, which is to be expected of a pitcher in his 40’s coming back from major elbow surgery. Still, with teams always on the hunt for bullpen depth, it would be shocking if Nathan didn’t get any bites before spring training starts.