For the first time since 2011, Mike Trout is batting somewhere other than the leadoff spot for the Angels on Thursday. Manager Mike Scioscia has him in the two-hole against the A’s, with Alberto Callaspo at the top of the order.
The Angels are without usual No. 2 hitter, Erick Aybar, who is on the shelf with a heel injury.
Scioscia’s decision to move Trout seems less a reaction to Aybar’s injury and more born from a need to shake things up. The Angels held a team meeting after losing their third straight game last night and falling to 2-6. They’ve been outscored by the A’s 20-10 the last two days.
Trout is off to a modest .278/.333/.417 start with no homers, one RBI and 10 strikeouts in 36 at-bats. The Angels will see if sticking him in front of the red-hot Albert Pujols will do any good.
The Phillies announced on Tuesday that the club traded pitcher Alec Asher to the Orioles for a player to be named later.
Asher, 25, was the victim of a roster crunch. He was not going to make the 25-man roster and the starting rotation at Triple-A Lehigh Valley was already full. The Phillies acquired him from the Rangers in the July 2015 Cole Hamels trade.
Asher had good results in 27 2/3 innings in the big leagues last year, posting a 2.28 ERA with a 13/4 K/BB ratio. While it didn’t show in those stats, the right-hander sometimes struggles with command and he doesn’t miss bats often enough to make up for it. The Orioles, however, are happy to add some pitching depth.
Ervin Santana will once again start on Opening Day for the Twins, MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger reports. He’ll face the Royals at home in a day game on Monday, April 3.
The last pitcher to start back-to-back Opening Days for the Twins was Carl Pavano in 2011-12.
Santana, 34, is entering the third year of a four-year, $55 million contract signed in December 2014. Last season, the right-hander finished with a solid 3.38 ERA and a 149/53 K/BB ratio over 181 1/3 innings.