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Trout makes return trip to big leagues
Top prospect called up after Angels release veteran Abreu
04/28/2012 12:06 AM ET
Mike Trout was selected with the 25th overall pick in the 2009 Draft.
Mike Trout was selected with the 25th overall pick in the 2009 Draft. (Brent Asay/MiLB.com)
When one domino falls, so does another. The first to fall -- or, in this case, rise -- was Bryce Harper, who got the call Friday to join the Washington Nationals. Then came Mike Trout.

Baseball's No. 3 prospect will join the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Saturday after the team released veteran outfielder Bobby Abreu late Friday night. Trout will be available to play in Sunday's series finale in Cleveland and will be employed as an everyday player.

"Right now, there are some parts of our club that we need to get moving forward," Angels skipper Mike Scioscia told MLB.com, referencing his 6-14 start. "I don't think this is going to be a cure-all because I think there are things that we definitely need to come into play."

General manager Jerry Dipoto added: "We'll see if we can add a little energy, get some spice. He's been off to a great start. We just had to shake it up a little bit."

Trout, a year older than Harper at 20, batted .403 with 10 extra-base hits and 13 RBIs in 20 games for Triple-A Salt Lake. The right-handed hitting center fielder, who also stole six bases, was not in the Bees' lineup Friday night. He made waves on April 14 by scoring from first on a teammate's single.

The Vineland, N.J., native has long been expected to shift to left field in Anaheim, paying deference to incumbent speedster Peter Bourjos. But Bourjos is batting .178 in 16 games.

Whatever the case, Trout joins an outfield picture that, even minus Abreu, is somewhat crowded. Flanking Bourjos are veterans Vernon Wells and Torii Hunter. Wells, the most likely player to lose playing time, was batting .230 with four homers and eight RBIs through 20 games.

Abreu, 38, was 5-for-24 prior to his release.

Trout was the 25th overall pick in the 2009 Draft and has hit well above .300 in each of his four Minor League seasons. He batted .326 and collected 42 extra-base hits and 33 stolen bases in 91 games at Double-A Arkansas prior to earning his first Major League callup last summer.

Trout, a five-tool talent by most accounts, made his big league debut at 19 on July 8. He recorded his first hit, a single, a day later, and proceeded to bat .220 in 40 games with the Halos. He showed improvement during his second stint -- beginning Aug. 19 -- when he pieced together a six-game hitting streak that peaked with a two-homer, five-RBI performance on Aug. 30.

Among the more disappointing story lines, Trout's bid to begin 2012 in the Majors never got off the ground. He contracted a viral infection in February and suffered from shoulder tendinitis in March. The setbacks landed him in Salt Lake for the start of the season. It turns out, he will finish the month elsewhere.

Andrew Pentis is a contributor to MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at AndrewMiLB. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
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