Mike Trout was called up from Double-A when Peter Bourjos landed on the disabled list, so when Bourjos returned last week there wasn’t much room in the lineup for the Angels’ stud prospect.
They kept him around for a while as a bench player, but have rightly decided that the 19-year-old outfielder will be much better off playing regularly again and have sent him back to Double-A.
In fact, Trout announced the move via Twitter long before an official announcement was made.
Trout going back to the minors isn’t shocking, but his returning to Double-A is somewhat surprising given that he hit .324 with a .950 OPS in 75 games there before the call-up.
Choosing to send him back to Double-A rather than Triple-A suggests the Angels either don’t plan on Trout getting called up to stay for a while or are convinced he’s better off not posting ridiculous numbers in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. Or maybe both. He turns 20 years old next week, so there will be plenty of time to knock around Triple-A pitchers if the Angels want to see Trout do that before he arrives in the majors for good. Whatever the case, he’ll likely be back in September and possibly for the playoffs.
Pirates outfielder Starling Marte is back in the lineup after the team reinstated him from the 10-day disabled list on Saturday. Marte served the bare minimum on the DL after making a rapid recovery from the right oblique strain that sidelined him several weeks ago.
Prior to landing on the disabled list, the 29-year-old outfielder was off to a strong start. He slashed a robust .308/.366/.503 with six home runs, 10 stolen bases and an .869 OPS in 175 plate appearances with the team. This is the first time he’s dealt with an oblique issue, and the first DL stint he’s served since he suffered a bout of back tightness in 2016. While he has yet to prove he can bounce back to his pre-injury production levels, his quick recovery bodes well for a successful return to major-league play.
In a corresponding move, outfielder Jose Osuna was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis. The move came as somewhat of a surprise, given that the Pirates elected to retain top prospect outfielder Austin Meadows rather than the more established Osuna. Meadows was recalled from Triple-A in the wake of Marte’s injury and has only played seven games at the major league level so far, but he’s already made a strong impression: he went 13-for-29 with three home runs, two stolen bases and five RBI since his call-up on May 18.