Angels explain why they sent Mike Trout back to Double-A rather than Triple-A

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When the Angels optioned 19-year-old stud prospect Mike Trout to the minors earlier this week I wondered why they sent him back to Double-A, where he’d already dominated for 75 games, instead of Triple-A, where he’d yet to play.

Turns out, they want him to get playoff experience.

Mike Scioscia told Jordan Garretson of MLB.com that the level of competition isn’t much different between the two levels and the Triple-A team is below .500 while the Double-A team is in first place.

We really feel strongly that in a player’s development it’s important to experience the playoffs. In Mike’s case, he’s a guy that’s leading a team to the playoffs. There’s a comfort level there. He just needs to play.

It’ll be interesting to see if the Angels bring Trout back to the majors for a playoff run of their own, because even if his bat isn’t quite ready to thrive in the majors as a teenager his incredible speed and outfield defense would definitely come in handy.

Joe Musgrove shut down with ab discomfort

Joe Musgrove
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Pirates right-hander Joe Musgrove is done for the year after suffering an abdominal wall muscle strain and stress reaction in his pelvic bone. While he isn’t expected to undergo surgery or miss additional time in 2019, he’s been prescribed six weeks of rest before resuming any baseball-related activities.

Musgrove, 25, finished out his third year in Pittsburgh with a 6-9 record in 19 starts, backed by a 4.06 ERA, 1.8 BB/9, and 7.8 SO/9. Despite logging a career-high 115 1/3 innings at the major league level, he’s also been dogged by a string of injuries, from the shoulder strain that robbed him of eight weeks at the start of the season to an index finger infection that kept him sidelined for a minimum 10-day stay on the disabled list in June.

While he works his way back up to full strength yet again, rookie right-hander Nick Kingham is expected to cover for him and will make a spot start during the Pirates’ series finale against the Brewers on Sunday. The 26-year-old righty hasn’t started a single game for the team since August 1, and currently carries a 4.69 ERA, 2.7 BB/9, and 8.1 SO/9 over 71 innings out of the rotation and bullpen.