Angels release veteran Abreu, promote top prospect Trout

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange


Needing a spark to ignite a turnaround from the worst start in franchise history (6-14,
matching 2002), the Los Angeles Angels gave veteran outfielder Bobby Abreu his release following Friday's 3-2 loss to Cleveland and promoted outfielder Mike Trout from Triple-A Salt Lake.
After a spring training interrupted by a viral infection and limited by shoulder
inflammation, the 20-year-old Trout has been off to a hot start in Triple-A, batting .403
with 21 runs scored and 10 extra-base hits (four doubles, five triples and a home run).
"We want to get Mike into the lineup, see if we can add a little energy, get some
spice," Angels GM Jerry Dipoto said of the move. "He's off to a great start. Just looking
to shake things up a little bit is probably the best way to put it."
Earlier this week, Angels manager Mike Scioscia was asked if Trout might provide that
spark. The manager said the prospect would only be promoted if there was "a significant
role" for him. The Angels' continued struggles -- including a collective .195 average and
a .250 on-base percentage from their leadoff hitters -- have clearly forced the Angels'
hand.
"Right now, there are some parts of our club we need to get moving forward," Scioscia
said after Friday's game. "I don't think it's going to be a cure-all because there are
other things we need to come into play.
"This is a young, exciting player who's going to come up and we hope is going to
contribute."
His skills obviously declining at age 38, Abreu clearly didn't fit into the Angels'
plans this season, but they were unable to find a taker for the veteran in a trade. By
releasing him, the Angels will be obligated to pay the remainder of his $9 million salary
(minus anything he earns if he is signed by another team).
"This was the right thing to do," Dipoto said of the financial hit the Angels take.
"It's not comfortable. It's not comfortable for Arte. It's not comfortable for the
organization. That's a lot of money."