Young stars Trout, Harper square off for first time in majors
Seattle Times news services
WASHINGTON — Mike Trout says it’s “pretty cool” to be compared with Bryce Harper.
He says the same goes for “Mickey Mantle and those Hall of Fame guys.”
That underscores the big difference between the two young baseball stars who took the same field in a regular-season game for the first time Monday night at Nationals Park.
The 21-year-old Harper still is a player best defined by his potential: The Washington left fielder looks like he could be one of the all-time greats.
“If they like him, they like him. If they like me, they like me. If they like both of us, then they know the game,” Harper said. “And if they don’t, then they’re crazy.”
The 22-year-old Trout already is performing like one for the Los Angeles Angels.
“He plays the game hard,” Trout said of Harper. “He’s max effort every time ... except for that lack of hustle the other day.”
Harper was benched by Nationals manager Matt Williams on Saturday for failing to run hard to first base.
“He knows he was wrong,” Trout said of Harper.
Trout, who has become the face of major-league baseball, spoke with Harper for about 10 minutes during batting practice Monday. The two were teammates in the Arizona Fall League in 2011.
“Talking baseball,” Trout said.
Trout was 2 for 5 as the Angels earned a 4-2 victory. Harper was 0 for 3.
• Carlos Gomez has no plans to apologize for his behavior that set off another brawl.
The Brewers center fielder was ejected along with Pittsburgh outfielder Travis Snider, a former star at Jackson High in Mill Creek, and Milwaukee bench coach Jerry Narron after a shouting match escalated into a brawl during the third inning of the Brewers’ win Sunday.
Gomez flipped his bat to watch his two-out drive off Gerrit Cole. Gomez said he thought the ball would be caught, but it hit the wall and he made a headfirst slide for a triple. Cole, near third base backing up the play, stormed toward Gomez and they exchanged words.
Cole said he told Gomez: “If you’re going to hit it out of the ballpark, then you can stop and look at it. But it you’re going to hit just a fly ball to center field, then don’t stand and look at it.’”
Major League Baseball did not issue discipline Monday for this brawl.
“To be honest, I don’t know anything,” Gomez said. “I’ve just been watching TV, and the only thing I hear is my dad and my mother talking to me. They don’t want to see something like that. I said, ‘I don’t mean to do that, but things happen in the game.’ ”
• Colorado outfielder Michael Cuddyer went on the 15-day disabled list, a move retroactive to Friday. To take his place on the roster, the Rockies recalled infielder Charlie Culberson from Class AAA Colorado Springs.
“Extremely frustrating,” Cuddyer said of his balky hamstring, something he’s never experienced before in his career. “This is nagging more than anything else.”
• Chicago White Sox left-hander Chris Sale is headed to the 15-day disabled list with what the team believes is a strained muscle in his throwing arm. General manager Rick Hahn said the White Sox are erring on the side of caution, and that an MRI suggests no ligament damage.
• The Los Angeles Dodgers have recalled right-hander Jose Dominguez from Class AAA Albuquerque and optioned utility infielder Chone Figgins, a former Mariner, to their top minor-league club to help shore up an overworked bullpen.
Dominguez, who has appeared in three games for the Dodgers in two stints this season, last appeared for Albuquerque on Thursday, registering a save by retiring the side in order with one strikeout.
Figgins made nine appearances as a pinch-hitter for Los Angeles, going 1 for 6 with three walks.
• Left-hander Sean Doolittle’s five-year contract, signed Friday, with the Oakland Athletics is worth $10.5 million, and the deal would increase to $13.75 million if he becomes eligible for salary arbitration after this season.