Mike Trout back in Angels’ lineup Thursday

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Good news for the Angels. After dealing with upper back stiffness over the past week, Mike Trout has returned to the starting lineup for tonight’s game against the Astros.

Trout didn’t play Saturday or Sunday and made it through just one at-bat on Monday before exiting due to renewed stiffness in his back. While he was held out of the lineup again last night, an MRI showed only inflammation and no structural damage. He’ll be eased back into things tonight as the designated hitter.

Trout, 22, is batting .293/.379/.546 with 11 home runs, 38 RBI, and five stolen bases over 55 games this season.

The Hall of Fame rejected the BBWAA vote to make ballots public

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Last year, at the Winter Meetings, the BBWAA voted overwhelmingly to make Hall of Fame ballots public beginning with this year’s election. Their decision was a long-demanded one, and it served to make a process that has often frustrated fans — and many voters — more transparent.

Mark Feinsand of MLB.com tweeted a few minutes ago, however, that at some point since last December, the Hall of Fame rejected the BBWAA’s vote. Writers may continue to release their own ballots, but their votes will not automatically be made public.

I don’t know what the rationale could possibly be for the Hall of Fame. If I had to guess, I’d say that the less-active BBWAA voters who either voted against that change or who weren’t present for it because they don’t go to the Winter Meetings complained about it. It’s likewise possible that the Hall simply doesn’t want anyone talking about the votes and voters so as not to take attention away from the honorees and the institution, but that train left the station years ago. If the Hall doesn’t want people talking about votes and voters, they’d have to change the whole thing to some star chamber kind of process in which the voters themselves aren’t even known and no one discusses it publicly until after the results are released.

Oh well. There’s a lot the Hall of Fame does that doesn’t make a ton of sense. Add this to the list.