Slumping Bourjos again not in starting lineup

Slumping Bourjos again not in starting lineup

Slumping Bourjos again not in starting lineup
ANAHEIM -- Peter Bourjos is still 25, is batting only .167, has started just once in the last five games and now has premier prospect Mike Trout playing his position.

The following question is now a relevant one: Is it better for Bourjos to temporarily go down to Triple-A, where he can play regularly and work on whatever it is he needs to offensively?

"If that happens, it happens," Bourjos said prior to Tuesday's game between the Angels and Twins, which saw him ride the bench while Trout played center field and led off. "It's part of the game. I have options, I understand that, and it's a business at the end of the day."

Asked about whether the club is considering such a move, though, Angels manager Mike Scioscia said: "Not right now."

"I think there's a huge role for Peter on our club," Scioscia added. "If it's not playing seven days a week, there's going to be playing time for him here, and he definitely makes our team deeper. We'll see how it progresses. Right now, we want him to fit into our team and hopefully make us stronger."

Bourjos batted .271 with a .327 on-base percentage, 12 homers and 22 stolen bases in his first full season last year. Now, he's part of a lineup that's struggling mightily from top to bottom, with just three hits in his last 31 at-bats, and 14 strikeouts through the season's first month.

If right, Bourjos could provide the Angels with a spark at the bottom of the order, with more speed on the basepaths leading up to Albert Pujols. And even if not starting, he can be valuable as a late-game defensive replacement.

Right now, though, he's fighting to bust out of a slump -- which is hard to do when you're not playing.

"You always want to play," Bourjos said. "You grow up playing the game and you love to play, and obviously we have a great team, so I have to accept the role that I'm in and can't really argue with the lineup they're putting out there. It's a good lineup, and I think it's going to produce over time."