ANAHEIM — Mike Trout would return to center field Wednesday if his surgically-repaired left thumb was sound enough to allow him play. Since that’s not realistic, Trout said Tuesday he’d shoot for a return to the Angels’ lineup at some point before the All-Star break July 10-13.
He also would like to play in the All-Star Game itself.
“It would be pretty cool just to, hopefully, be back by then,” Trout said when asked about the possibility of joining New York Yankees rookie right fielder Aaron Judge in the American League outfield in the July 11 game at Marlins Park in Miami.
“Obviously, I don’t determine that, but I’ll be out there as quick as I can.”
Trout has been working out to stay as fit as possible after tearing a ligament in his thumb while sliding headfirst during the Angels’ May 28 game in Miami. He can’t catch or hit a baseball, though. He was expected to be sidelined for between six and eight weeks after undergoing surgery.
The All-Star Game would be one day shy of the six-week mark after surgery.
“Before the All-Star break, right at the All-Star break, just depending on how it goes,” Trout said when asked about his targeted return. “Push it. I want to make sure it’s right. I don’t want it to linger. I want to play tomorrow, but obviously I can’t. We’ll see how it goes the next week or two.”
Trout was hitting. 337 with 16 homers, 14 doubles, 36 RBI and 10 stolen bases in 47 games before he was injured making a head-first slide. Trout said he would continue to slide head-first once he returns to the lineup. He has been wearing a small brace to protect his thumb during his recovery.
Alex Meyer’s numbers weren’t very good Monday. He gave up two runs and five hits with five strikeouts and five walks, which wasn’t all that bad. But he also needed 93 pitches to get through only 4-2/3 innings of the Angels’ 5-3 loss to the Yankees.
Manager Mike Scioscia stressed a need for consistency from Meyer if the right-hander is to reach his potential and emerge as a reliable big-league starter. Scioscia said Meyer has taken big strides since last season, but consistency remains an elusive concept.
“The next step is going to be consistency,” Scioscia said. “There’s going to be games where he’s a little off and the pitch count gets away from him a little bit. Where that was the norm before, like, when he was first in spring training, hopefully, it’s becoming fewer and far between.
“In one word, it’s going to be consistency. Repeating delivery. Repeating pitches. Have the feeling you’re going to give your team the chance to win every time you go out there, and pitch to a certain point in the game where you’re not involving the bullpen too early.
“The last two games, we’ve involved the bullpen really early. I think with Alex if you can be that guy who can get out there and give us 18 outs in a game, maybe 19 outs in a game, with consistency, he’s going to be a really…