When the Angels signed Albert Pujols as a free agent this past offseason, they added 445 career home runs to their ledger.
When DH Kendrys Morales completed a successful comeback from a fractured left ankle, they went into the season with five players capable of hitting 25 home runs. Pujols, Morales, Mark Trumbo, Torii Hunter and Vernon Wells have all done it before.
And yet, the Angels finished Sunday’s game with just 11 home runs, the lowest total in the American League. Pujols and Hunter have yet to hit their first of the season.
“One thing in our offense is certainly home runs and power but it hasn’t emerged yet,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “I do think it’ll be a big part of what we do. … There’s a power element to our team that we haven’t seen in a couple years. But it hasn’t emerged yet, no.”
The Angels haven’t had more than two 25-homer players in their lineup since Scioscia’s first year as manager (2000). But this year’s power has remained very well-hidden. Howie Kendrick’s solo home run in the eighth inning of Sunday’s 3-2 loss to Baltimore was only the Angels’ second in the past 60 innings. The team’s slugging percentage (.388) ranks 12th in the American League with only the Mariners and A’s lower.
NOTES, QUOTES Haren fails to pick up win despite strong outing –RHP Dan Haren took a four-hit shutout into the eighth inning and left with a 1-0 lead in the eighth. But the Angels bullpen blew the lead and lost the game in 10 innings. Haren has now left three of his four starts this season with a lead. But he has not won a game since Sept. 21, 2011. –2B Howie Kendrick was 1-for-4 with a game-tying home run in the eighth inning Sunday. It was his 12th home run since last Aug. 15. Among major league second basemen, only Rangers 2B Ian Kinsler has hit more home runs in that time. –1B Albert Pujols made his first start at DH with the Angels on Sunday and IF Mark Trumbo made his first start of the season at first base. That made Sunday’s the 14th different lineup Angels manager Mike Scioscia has used in the first 16 games this season. He has yet to use the same lineup in consecutive games and has not used any lineup more than twice. Pujols was 0-for-4 Sunday and went hitless (0-for-11) in the weekend series against the Orioles. Pujols still has not hit his first home run of the season, going 16 games and 65 at-bats without one as an Angel. –Top prospect OF Mike Trout has had a hot start in Triple-A Salt Lake. Trout had a 14-game hitting streak out of the gate and is batting .391 through his first 17 games at the Triple-A level (he jumped from Double-A to the majors last season at age 19). Trout has hits in 16 of those 17 games. BY THE NUMBERS: 11 — Home runs through their first 16 games by the Angels, the fewest in the American League. QUOTE TO NOTE: “You know, the marine layer is a mother. We told him in spring training — it’s pretty tough. I think he’ll be fine.” — Angels OF Torii Hunter, on the heavy night air at Angel Stadium knocking down Albert Pujols’ bids for his first home run as an Angel.
ROSTER REPORT MEDICAL WATCH: –RHP Bobby Cassevah (right shoulder discomfort) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 26. He began a rehab assignment with Class A Inland Empire on April 6, and as of April 20, had moved his rehab assignment to Class AAA Salt Lake. After a couple outings in Class AAA, Cassevah could be activated from the DL and join the Angels bullpen. –RHP Michael Kohn (flexor strain in right arm) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 26. He underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery April 12. –OF Jeremy Moore (left hip surgery in March 2012) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 26, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on April 13. He is unlikely to return before mid-June.