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Angels’ Mike Trout again ‘leaning toward no’ on Home Run Derby

ANAHEIM — It’s been a couple years since Mike Trout could even think about doing the Home Run Derby.

His opinion hasn’t changed.

The Angels three-time MVP has never competed in the Derby, which is the one of the sport’s jewel events. He said Saturday that probably isn’t changing.

“MLB contacted me the other day,” Trout said. “I don’t know the answer. I couldn’t tell you. I’m leaning toward no probably.”

Shohei Ohtani, who competed in the Derby last summer, said he would be open to competing again, depending on how it works into his pitching schedule.

“It’s definitely an honor if I get invited again,” Ohtani said through his interpreter this week. “I will think positively about it, depending where I’m pitching in the schedule. I still have to think about that.”

Trout also left the door cracked open by failing to give a definitive answer, but he has left little doubt that it’s not a priority for him.

“I enjoy spending time with my family and watching,” Trout said. “Now that I have a son, it would be a little different. And it’s a lot on your body. A lot of swings. I’ve talked to a lot of people who have done it.

“I really never had a true love to do it. I did it once in the minor leagues.”

The Angels’ superstar is likely to be selected for his 10th All-Star Game, but this would just be the eighth time that he actually participates. He was selected for the 2017 and 2021 All-Star Games, but he was injured and couldn’t play. In 2020, there was no All-Star Game because the season was shortened by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year, the game is at Dodger Stadium, but the proximity to his home hasn’t swayed him.

Next year’s All-Star Game is at Seattle’s T-Mobile Park, where Trout has hit 33 homers, his most at any ballpark as a visitor. He has said how much he enjoys hitting in Seattle.

Although Trout gave no indication he’d change his opinion on the Derby in 2023, he conceded that the location makes sense for him.

“You would think that would be the perfect fit, huh?” Trout said with a smile.

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David MacKinnon was working at third base Saturday afternoon, which the Angels hope creates an avenue for him to get more playing time.

The Angels have liked MacKinnon’s at-bats in his first week in the majors, but they don’t have a spot for him to get regular playing time at first base, which is his normal position, because of Jared Walsh.

MacKinnon has said he routinely takes ground balls at other spots, but it’s mostly just to help him stay sharp at first, not so much to actually play in a game. He acknowledged his work there now is with a little more intensity.

Manager Phil Nevin said if MacKinnon can “hold his own” at other positions, it would help get him in the lineup.

“When you’re not getting production out of certain areas in your lineup, you’re gonna look and try to be creative with anything you can do,” Nevin said.

 

NOTES

David Fletcher (hip surgery) started taking ground balls this week. He’s also been hitting and throwing. He’s expecting to be activated just after the All-Star break. …



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