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    Angels’ Mike Trout again voted to All-Star Game, set to play for first time since 2019
    • June 30, 2023

    ANAHEIM — Four years later, Mike Trout is going to be back in a spot that he had locked down for years.

    Trout was voted to start the All-Star Game on Thursday. It was his 11th selection, and 10th time being voted a starter, but he has not been able to play in the game since 2019.

    The All-Star Game was canceled because of COVID-19 in 2020, and Trout was hurt in 2021 and 2022.

    “It means a lot, being healthy,” Trout said. “That’s the main goal, getting to play.”

    The three-time American League MVP will be in the AL starting lineup with Shohei Ohtani, who was selected by fans as the DH for the third straight year and could be added as a pitcher as well when the rest of the rosters are announced this weekend.

    Trout, 31, is returning to the All-Star Game even though he is having his worst season. Trout is hitting .260 with an .858 OPS, which is significantly down from his career average of .300 or his OPS of .994. He has still hit 17 homers, just past the season’s midpoint.

    Manager Phil Nevin said Trout is still worthy of the honor.

    “I still think he’s one of the best players in the game, best players in the world,” Nevin said. “It’s not Mike Trout numbers, if you will, but I still think he’s a game-changing (player). We keep saying this as it’s not like Mike Trout numbers, but look at the board. It’s still in the mid-800’s in OPS. However many home runs he’s got. He’s a game-changer in a lot of different ways.”

    In Thursday’s game, Trout robbed a home run. He also had three hits, including a double.

    Trout said he has been feeling more like himself at the plate lately.

    “It’s coming,” Trout said. “I feel a lot better than last week. Just being patient. Having good at-bats. Things will turn around.”

    One thing that is going better for Trout is his health. He missed the All-Star Game with a thumb injury in 2017, a calf injury in 2021 and a back injury in 2022. The Angels have given him regular days off this season to keep him healthy. He has played 77 of the Angels’ 83 games, and the Angels are 6-1 in the games he’s missed. Nevin said he expects Trout to have fewer off days in the second half of the season because the schedule provides more breaks and also because they planned to save him for the stretch run.

    “Me and Nev are on the same page,” Trout said. “If I was 22 or 23 again, I’d be fighting it. I know he’s got a plan and we both agreed on this during spring. Just to be out and try to play as many games as I can, give me time off when I need it. My body feels great right now.”

    The rest of the All-Star rosters will be announced on Sunday. Angels infielder Brandon Drury and closer Carlos Estévez each have a chance to make the team.

    Trout also said he’s already decided that he will not compete in the Home Run Derby. He has never done it, although he admitted that his 2-year-old son, Beckham, might eventually have a say in that.

    “If he comes up to me and says ‘You better do it, I might have to think about it,’” Trout said. “He’s not there yet.”


    Although Ohtani said after he pitched on Tuesday night that he hasn’t yet decided whether to compete in the Home Run Derby, Nevin hinted on Thursday that Ohtani had already made up his mind. Nevin also made his feelings clear on the event.

    “I think he’s already said no to the Derby,” Nevin said. “I don’t know if he has or not. That would be one that I feel like takes a lot out of guys. … It’s fun to watch and all that, but I’ve just seen a lot of guys not bounce back from that very well. So whether he does or not, I mean, full support of him. I know he’s gonna be fine and take care of his body. It’s just those are some of the things that make me nervous. That’s all.”

    Ohtani competed at the Derby in his first All-Star Game, in 2021 in Denver. After one round of high-intensity swings against a clock, Ohtani admitted he was exhausted. He declined to do it last year at Dodger Stadium.

    In 2021, Ohtani also pitched in the game. Last year, he declined to pitch as well. It remains to be seen if he will even be selected as a pitcher this year.


    Third baseman Anthony Rendon (bruised wrist) did a workout on the field. He has been taking batting practice against the high-velocity pitching machine. Nevin said “we’re really close” to having Rendon play in a simulated game or a rehab assignment. …

    Right-hander Sam Bachman had been exclusively a starter until he was called up earlier this month, so he still has not pitched on back-to-back days, but Nevin suggested the Angels are almost ready to try that. “Those days are coming,” he said.


    Diamondbacks (LHP Tommy Henry, 4-1, 4.31 ERA) at Angels (RHP Griffin Canning, 6-2, 3.99 ERA), Friday, 6:38 p.m., Apple TV+, 830 AM

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    ​ Orange County Register