Around the Halo - Two Much Two Handle
When it was announced Torii Hunter would be leaving the Angels it seemed that a team in trouble was headed for disaster. As it turned out this was not the case. Compounded with the loss of regular left fielder Vernon Wells; Mike Scioscia went with what could be considered the outfield of the future. Mike Trout LF, Peter Bourjos CF and Mark Trumbo in RF.
This outfield combination gelled and the Angels as a team took off and began showing the league that they were as strong of a team on the field as they were on paper.
The at the time was "How does Torii fit in"?
Hunter the leader on the field and in the clubhouse was missed, but on the field the Halos were flourishing. Hunter however showed the effects of being away from the game for over two weeks. Going just 3/22 (.136) over his first seven games back. On June 6 versus the Seattle Mariners, Hunter was benched and received two days off in a row.
The Angels then start a weekend series in Coors Field. The giant ballpark with the high altitude were just was the doctor ordered for Hunter. There was another change besides the venue. Halos manager Mike Scioscia moved Torii out of his normal 4th or 5th slot up to the second spot in the batting order behind the hot hitting Mike Trout.
With Trout on base distracting the pitchers with his stealing abilities. In return Hunter saw a balanced diet of fastballs that he did not miss. In fact he crushed them.
Hunter's slashline since moving up the #2 spot.
12 for 24 .500/.583/.917/1.45 OPS 1 2B, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 8 RS, 2 BB
With Mike Trout on base just as often as Hunter it should surprise no one that the Angels won four straight against the Rockies and Dodgers.
An Angels lineup that needed consistency has finally come together the way Mike Scioscia, Jerry Dipoto and the fans believed it would. We could see the same grouping for the majority of games going forward. Trout/Hunter/Pujols/Morales/Trumbo with other regulars Howie Kendrick and Erick Aybar.
Jered Weaver on the disabled list since May 29 threw a bullpen session on Monday. The Angels ace will throw another bullpen on Wednesday with a simulated game this weekend. If all goes well and Weaver skips any rehab assignments it is possible he could return for the SF Giants series. Time will tell.
Chris Iannetta who is recovering from wrist surgery had his rehabilitation assignment pushed back until the middle of the week due to soreness while throwing.
Bobby Wilson is also on his way back from the 7 day disabled list for a concussion. Wilson passed a stress test over the weekend and could be back this weekend.