BALTIMORE -- Hitting at the big league level is one thing. Hitting at the big league level when not getting consistent playing time is a whole other challenge. Angels center fielder Peter Bourjos, fighting to get in the lineup ever since Mike Trout's callup in late April, has realized that.
And his recent numbers -- homers in back-to-back games on Sunday and Tuesday and a .316 batting average in June -- suggest he's getting a lot better at it.
"The thought process is a little different," said Bourjos, who was out of the lineup again on Wednesday. "I have to be ready to hit. In the first round of batting practice, instead of getting loose, I've been treating it more like this is my first at-bat of the game. I try to make it more game-like. I think that's helped me a lot."
Bourjos has come to grips with his limited role this year. With Trout, Mark Trumbo and Torii Hunter making a very formidable outfield, Bourjos has mostly only been in the lineup when Trumbo moves to designated hitter against left-handed starters.
It's the reality of 2012 for Bourjos, who has received interest from multiple teams but holds a lot of value within the Angels' front office.
"If you go out there and say, 'I need to get four hits to stay in the lineup,' it's not going to be good," Bourjos said. "You're going to put too much pressure on yourself."