Mike Trout making 2nd home for 66’ers, continues to get stronger in rehab

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - MAY 25: Mike Trout
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - MAY 25: Mike Trout /
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Mike Trout has an increasing following in San Bernardino as he has made it his 2nd home for the past week while he rehabs his torn UCL ligament in his thumb.Trout is getting better & stronger each day & looks about ready to return.

In the past week Halo Hangout has made two trips to San Bernardino to cover Mike Trout’s rehab.  On Tuesday Trout only did a workout and batting practice and looked pretty good in his five rounds of batting practice as the reigning MVP hit 11 home runs, four of which went to dead-center.

On Thursday we went out again to watch Trout in game action as he hit third as the 66’ers designated hitter going 0 for 2, getting on base twice via a hit by pitch and a catcher’s interference call.

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Trout was given Friday off in anticipation of him testing his thumb playing in the field on Saturday and Sunday.  Trout ended up playing pretty well in Saturday night’s game going one for two with a double and two runs scored. He also drew a walk.  What was particularly promising is that he did this off of major league veteran Scott Kazmir who was rehabbing for the Dodgers.

If you look at Trout’s numbers as a whole you may be a little nervous as he is 1 for 7 which is a .143 average with no homers and no RBI’s.  As much as I am sure Trout would like to put on a show for everyone and hit a few homers and maybe even rob a home run or two, trust me Trout is fine with where he is at.

“I have swung the bat pain free and today I did not use a brace and it felt good,” Trout said after Thursday’s game. “I’ve been waking up pain-free so everything is good. Every day is getting better each day. My timing is still a little off, but it is good to get at-bats and see some pitches.”

Trout is scheduled to play at least two more games with the 66’ers tonight (Sunday) and Monday.  Anything past that is unknown at this time.  The goal is for Trout to be ready to make his return for the Angels when the second half of the season starts this Friday in Anaheim against the Texas Rangers.

While Trout has been rehabbing in San Bernardino for the 66’ers the crowds have flocked to San Manuel Stadium in bunches. Many fans are getting there three hours or more before the game and waiting in triple-digit temperatures to catch a glimpse of the reigning AL MVP.  Trout has been wonderful to the fans signing numerous autographs each day and from a media standpoint has been his usual congenial self each day he meets with us.

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To me this is just as important as what he has done on the field. Trout’s overall personality and demeanor is what sets him apart from many superstars who are not as accommodating such as Bryce Harper. Nothing against Harper as he is a special player, but you don’t see Trout ever charging the mound and throwing a batting helmet at a pitcher after being hit.

Mike Trout is pure class.  After reaching first base on Thursday night via catcher’s interference, Trout was I’m sure frustrated to have two at-bats in a row where he got to see only one pitch, but his first concern at that moment was to check on Stockton Ports’ catcher Santiago Chavez to make sure he had not been injured on the play.

“The catcher’s interference was probably the weirdest swings I have ever felt. It felt like when I swung it felt like someone grabbed my bat,” Trout said. “I just wanted to make sure the catcher was okay as you don’t want to see anyone get hurt.”

As for Trout’s opinion on the big crowds the 66’ers have had all week averaging over 6,000 fans every night he has played.  “It means a lot to me and it means a lot to the Angels in general, for them to show their support like that as it is very hot out there,” Trout said. “Even when I come out on deck they have given me a great welcome, it makes you feel good and I can’t thank them enough as it means a lot to me and the Angels.”

Halo Hangout will again be out in San Bernardino tonight to cover Mike Trout’s second start in the outfield for the 66’ers.  For myself and our Halo Hangout staff we would like to say thank you to not only Mike Trout and Angels vice-president of communications Tim Mead who have graciously allowed us to be a part of Trout’s press conferences, but we would also like to thank the Inland Empire organization for being so accommodating.

Ryan English and Steve Wendt who handle media relations for the 66’ers have bent over backwards to take of every need that we have had.  The whole ballpark experience has been wonderful as well as the rest of the 66’ers staff and all the way down to the concession stand workers have been top notch making the experience the best possible.

Look for continued Trout live coverage on our twitter and facebook accounts tonight @halohangout on twitter and halo hangout on twitter.