Saturday, December 27, 2014

Touch 'Em All: Trout hits his 30th HR

Mike Trout turned 23 less than three weeks ago. But don't let the tender age fool you.

With each passing day, the Los Angeles Angels outfielder from Millville, N.J., proves he's already one for the ages.

Wednesday, in the seventh inning of a game that had long since been drained of suspense, Trout made history by lining a home run into the shrubbery behind the center-field wall at Angel Stadium. With that shot, Trout not only closed out the Angels' 6-1 victory over the Miami Marlins, but also became only the fifth American League player with two 30-home run seasons before the end of his age-22 campaign.

OK, so the record is a bit esoteric. But two of the names on that list, Jimmie Foxx and Ted Williams, are in the Hall of Fame.

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Trout could be there someday. And outgoing commissioner Bud Selig has already nominated Trout's baby face to replace the retiring Derek Jeter's as the face of the game.

"Mike Trout is special," Selig said Wednesday during a brief stop at Angel Stadium. "We're lucky in this sport. We have great young players. And as sad as it is to see Derek go, we go through this every generation.

"Mike Trout is special. He's been great on the field and just as great off the field. So if he is the icon of this generation, I'd be very, very happy."

Notable

The Kansas City Royals claimed former Phillies infielder Jayson Nix off waivers from the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Yankees' Masahiro Tanaka threw 49 pitches in a simulated game Thursday and did not report any unusual pain as he recovers from a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament.

The Braves have shut down lefthander Jonny Venters for the rest of the season after the reliever tore an elbow ligament while trying to come back from his second Tommy John surgery. The 29-year-old Venters hasn't pitched in the majors since 2012, a season after he made the NL all-star team.

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