June 22, 2021

Angels’ Mike Trout working on his defense, thanks to Twitter

first_imgMike Trout’s outfield reads became somewhat of a trending topic among baseball fans and media on Twitter last Friday.Among those who were paying attention: Trout himself.According to MLB’s Statcast technology, Trout’s “jump” on balls hit to the outfield ranks among the bottom 1 percent of outfielders. Statcast divides “jump” into three components: reaction (feet covered in the first 1.5 seconds after a ball is hit), burst (feet covered from 1.6 to 3 seconds after a ball is hit), and route (how closely to a direct path the player traveled in the first three seconds). While his “reaction” had improved a smidge since last year, his “burst” was slipping.When Trout saw these figures making the social media rounds, he decided to do something. “The last few games I’ve been pushing to get better, my first steps,” he said. “It’s been paying off. In Oakland, I got some better reads. You don’t realize it until you see the numbers.”Ostensibly, the Angels’ coaches had not raised the issue with Trout. Neither did Manager Joe Maddon, who dismissed the value of Trout’s poor defensive metrics in a Zoom call with reporters Sunday. Asked specifically about Trout’s first step, Maddon said Monday, “I haven’t detected a heavy technical problem.”Trout, for one, saw room for improvement. He dismissed the foot injury he sustained last year as a possible cause. The absence of a real crowd has changed ballpark acoustics, so listening to the sound off the bat has been a different exercise in 2020. More than anything, Trout focused on his effort: emphasizing being ready before each pitch by the time the ball reaches the plate.“There’s always things I can improve on. Obviously that’s one of them,” he said. “I just looked into and told myself, how can I get better?”CHANGE OF PLANSMajor League Baseball announced that Thursday’s game between the Angels and Astros at Minute Maid Park in Houston will be played Tuesday as part of a 7-inning doubleheader. Trout, a self-styled weather aficionado, is watching with interest. He said he’s been exchanging text messages with Jim Cantore of The Weather Channel, and is preparing alternate travel arrangements home. The Angels begin a four-game series against the Mariners at Angel Stadium on Friday.“I do not like turbulence,” Trout said. “You can ask any of my fellow teammates over there. I already told (Justin Upton) that if we play Wednesday and there’s a hurricane close, we’re driving six hours west, then we’re flying out somewhere. I’m not taking off in a hurricane, I’ll tell you that.”ALSOShohei Ohtani batted second for the first time since 2018. Maddon said he wanted to “sandwich” Ohtani between two right-handed hitters, David Fletcher and Trout at the top of the lineup. … Chad Tracy is serving as the Angels’ bullpen coach in the series against the Astros. Matt Wise is away from the team for a personal matter, and is expected to rejoin the club in Anaheim on Friday. Tropical Storm Laura is currently projected to become a hurricane upon landfall in Texas, potentially jeopardizing the series finale and the Angels’ subsequent flight home. The doubleheader will begin at 1 p.m. Pacific Time.Left-hander Jose Suarez will start the first game. Right-hander Julio Teheran, who was demoted to the bullpen after posting a 12.38 earned-run average in his first three starts, will start Game 2.Wednesday’s game, originally scheduled for 6:10 p.m., will also be moved up to 10 a.m.Related Articles Jose Suarez’s rocky start sinks Angels in loss to Astros Angels’ Shohei Ohtani spending downtime working in outfield center_img Angels’ poor pitching spoils an Albert Pujols milestone Angels offense breaks out to split doubleheader with Astros How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *