Angels general manager Billy Eppler tells Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times that he hasn’t taken a single call asking about the availability of Mike Trout in the midst of his team’s injury-riddled season. There’s been a perhaps surprising amount of speculation about the Halos eventually making Trout available with a poor on-field product at the moment (due in part, though not necessarily entirely due to the aforementioned injuries) and the team’s dismal farm system. As one rival GM put it when speaking to Shaikin: “You’re getting a guy who’s being paid at the very top of the food chain and trading three to five potential impact players in return. I don’t think there is a scenario where that is going to happen.”
More pertaining to the Halos and their division…
- Angels ace Garrett Richards spoke to MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez (Twitter link) about his decision to hold off on the Tommy John surgery he was reported to require for a tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. “The way my timetable lines up, as far as being back by 2018 if I did have surgery, is not any different if I have surgery now versus in a couple of months from now,” said Richards, who plans to first attempt stem-cell therapy to treat his injury. “This is just something that was an option, and I decided to take it. Why not, right?” Even the most optimistic projections for a Richards return would’ve been a late May/early June return for Richards in 2017, and if he follows a 14- to 16-month recovery timeline for Tommy John, then he’d indeed have missed most or all of the 2017 season anyhow.
- The Rangers optioned reliever Andrew Faulkner to Triple-A yesterday, which should clear a path for outfielder Shin-Soo Choo to be activated from the disabled list today. Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star Telegram tweets that with Choo’s return, he’ll return to his role as the everyday right fielder, with rookie Nomar Mazara sliding over to left field. The Rangers, following Delino Deshields’ recent demotion, will move forward with Mazara and Choo flanking a resurgent (and re-positioned) Ian Desmond in center field. Choo appeared in only five games for the Rangers this season before suffering a calf injury that necessitated a roughly six-week stay on the disabled list.
- Evan Gattis’ return to catching drew strong reviews from Astros right-hander Collin McHugh, writes MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart. Gattis, who was solely a DH in his first year with Houston, was recently optioned to Double-A Corpus Christi to once again familiarize himself with catching, and the plan is for him to catch a couple of times per week when he isn’t serving as the club’s designated hitter, per McTaggart. “The story of today is Evan Gattis,” said McHugh following a strong start against the White Sox. “…He’s a big league catcher and everybody needs to understand that and recognize that. He did a really phenomenal job tonight, both calling the game and blocking.” Despite hitting 27 homers last season, Gattis’ .285 on-base percentage made his work as a DH questionable overall. However, if he can deliver relatively similar production while serving as a part-time catcher in 2016, he’ll obviously become a considerably more valuable commodity for the Astros, even if his defense behind the dish isn’t premium.