Mike Trout is the best player in baseball, but he has reached the postseason just once in five-plus years in the bigs. That is something he would like to change this season.
“Mike’s terrific,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “I think he has perspective. He wants to win. Every player in that clubhouse wants to be on a winner. That’s what you play for – to get a ring. We’ve only made the playoffs one time since Mike’s been here. But we have great ownership. Arte Moreno, he’s committed to giving us the tools that we need to reach our goals. I can’t imagine Mike Trout going through his career and not getting into the playoffs on a continuous basis and getting a chance to get a ring. I don’t know if we’re focused on ‘Hey, we have to do this for Mike Trout.’ We have to do it for our organization. We have to get deeper. We have to get more guys at the major league level that are going to give us an opportunity to reach our goal. I think (general manager) Billy Eppler’s done that this year. But Mike Trout, I just can’t imagine him going very far or very long without getting a chance to get a ring. That’s obviously our goal.”
Trout, 25, hit .315 with a .441 OBP, 29 homers, 100 RBIs, 123 runs and 30 steals last season.
“He’s got a great understanding of what his talent is and how he fits in not only our team, but in the scope of Major League Baseball,” Scioscia said. “He’s totally committed to our team and making us better every day.”
Scioscia was asked if it’s difficult managing a superstar like Trout, someone who is so young and yet so talented.
“It might be if it wasn’t somebody like Mike Trout,” Scioscia said. “I know it’s a unique position to be a manger and to have a guy that is really not even in the prime of his career, so young and doing so many things, much like Lou Piniella had with Ken Griffey Jr. I think it’s unique, but if you keep the team concept, Mike’s another player – and he works like another player. His ego is always in check, and he comes out here and understands that he wants to keep getting better and he works hard at it. So from a manager’s perspective, it might be tougher if you had guys that have egos and maybe they get a little too big for their shoes. Not Mike Trout.”
Scioscia was also asked about MLB rule changes designed to improve pace of play. Overall, the 58-year-old doesn’t like them.
“Pitchers need to be more decisive, get on the mound, make their pitch,” he said. “That’ll be the biggest impact. I’m not really in favor of the pitch clock like the shot clock in basketball, but if it goes to extremes, you might have to implement that.”
Scioscia said he is “absolutely not in favor” of beginning extra innings with a runner on second base, saying “That’s just absolutely the wrong way to go with trying to decide a winner and loser in a baseball game.”
Other things, such as the no-pitch intentional walk, might speed things up a bit but won’t produce fundamental change.
“These are all peripheral things,” Scioscia said. “The biggest thing is the pitcher getting on the mound, getting decisive and making a pitch to keep the game flow going. A lot of the other things, I think, are just going to maybe be some political solution but not have a big impact on what’s happening in a baseball game.”