Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com reports that Angels outfielder Mike Trout is out of the lineup for tonight’s game against the Indians due to right hamstring tightness.
Trout tweaked his hamstring while running to second base on a double yesterday and was eventually forced to make an early exit. He downplayed the severity after the game, but the Angels understandably aren’t taking any chances with their young phenom. This is just his second time out of the lineup this season.
Trout has delivered an impressive follow-up to his historic rookie campaign by batting .330/.430/.574 with 21 home runs, 78 RBI and 28 stolen bases. He leads the American League with 77 walks.
Bryce Harper has, in recent years, declined participation in the Home Run Derby, with his last go at it coming in 2013, losing to Yoenis Cespedes in the final round. With the All-Star Game taking place at Nationals Park in Washington, however, he has changed his mind, saying today that he will compete if he is selected for the All-Star team.
Harper is currently second in voting among National League outfielders, so he stands a pretty good chance of making it. Even if he falls off in the voting, you have to assume that the powers that be will nudge NL manager A.J. Hinch to select Harper as a reserve, partially because of his actual power — he does have 19 homers so far this year — but mostly for his star power.
Simply put, you know dang well that both Major League Baseball and the Nationals want a home town guy with big time star power in the Derby, even if he’s not having as good a year as he’s capable of. As such, figure to see Harper hitting long balls in D.C. on July 16.