PCL baseball: Bourjos' performance in Bees' win bodes well for return to Angels
Peter Bourjos didn't have much of an opportunity to really test his rehabbed hamstring during his initial appearance with Salt Lake on Thursday.
On Friday night at Spring Mobile Ballpark, the swift outfielder needed only one at-bat to prove his hammy was strong and ready for the rigors of Major League Baseball, which Bourjos hopes to continue Monday when he rejoins the Los Angeles Angels.
Fresno pitcher Chris Heston plunked Bourjos in the back to open the bottom of the first. Bourjos, always a threat to steal, forced a wild pick-off from Heston and roared all the way to third base easily ahead of the throw from short right field.
Bourjos then cruised home with the game's first run on a sacrifice fly to center field. The Bees (30-32), behind pitcher A.J. Schugel's five-hit effort, defeated the Grizzlies (30-32), 4-2.
"I always take precautions," Bourjos said about his routine to prepare his legs for the daily grind. "I'm normally tight, and my game is based around my speed and my legs, so you know I always take a lot of time getting ready for games."
Bourjos was injured in late April legging out a sacrifice bunt. The injury put the brakes on what had been a good start amid the Angels' struggles.
The outfielder was batting .313 with a .458 slugging percentage.
"He worked so hard over the winter on his swing and approach," said Bourjos' father, Chris, a scout for the San Diego Padres. Chris Bourjos wore two hats Friday, one as a scout and the other as a typical anxious father.
"Boom, just like that," Chris said of the injury. "His work was paying off and now it's kind of starting over. I hope his legs stay healthy."
So does L.A. manager Mike Scioscia, who said Bourjos will return to centerfield. It has been an unpopular decision for some who believe Mike Trout should stay in center.
Bourjos, also the subject of countless trade rumors, wasn't going to enter the fray.
"When I go to the clubhouse every day, I expect to play," Bourjos said. "Obviously I love playing center field, but whatever happens happens."
As for trade rumors, he said, "If you get traded, you get traded. It means somebody wants you."