Mike Trout: still a Phillies fan

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Commence your six-year premature free agency speculation, Philly Pholks. Mike Trout grew up in Phillies country and, according to his dad in this CSNPhilly.com interview, Trout still roots for them:

Trout’s father recalled a story from a few years back when in the middle of the night, Jeff heard Mike scream from his room.

“Dad, we got Roy Halladay!” Mike yelled. To which his Dad responded: “the Angels got Halladay?”

“No, the Phillies did!” Mike replied. “Son, you’re a member of the Angels. What’s with this we?!”

That was in December 2009, six months after Trout was drafted by the Angels and had already played in Rookie and Low-A ball for the club.

Still, it was almost three years ago. We should test this to see if he’s still Phaithful. Quick: someone tell him that Ryan Howard’s contract sucks and see if he gets all whiny about it.

Kyle Schwarber is “probably, arguably” in The Best Shape of His Life

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Joe Maddon just held his annual media availability here at the Winter Meetings. During the scrum he said that Kyle Schwarber “looked great the other day” at a Cubs community event and that . . . wait for it . . . “he’s in, probably, arguably in the best shape of his life.” Maddon went on to say that, if Schwarber looks good in spring training, he might even be the Cubs leadoff hitter in 2018.

Schwarber is only 24, but the former catcher turned outfielder is going to spend most of his career as a DH, with another team obviously, unless he shows the Cubs that he can be a regular defender. The Cubs would love to see him in better shape whether they keep him or shop him, and if it’s the latter, they’ll want to show potential trade partners that he can play defense so as not to limit his market. It’s in everyone’s interests for him to be lean, mean and a bit more flexible once spring training starts.

To that end, according to a recent report, Schwarber “has been on a mission this offseason to transform his body.” And now Maddon is playing up the BSOHL angle. Whether that’s salesmanship or not, all eyes are going to be on Schwarber come February.