OAKLAND -- Chris Nelson strained his right hamstring on Aug. 28, and it looked like he'd miss the remainder of the season -- only Nelson wasn't willing to accept that.
This was his chance, perhaps his only chance, to make his case to be the Angels' third baseman in 2014. And he wasn't going to let that opportunity slip by. So he went to work, attacked the rehab process aggressively and on Tuesday, less than three weeks removed from an injury that usually comes with a six- to eight-week recovery, he was activated off the disabled list.
"I thought it was very important," Nelson said. "That's why every day I took the rehab serious, and I got in there and got what I needed to get done so I can try to get back out there on the field. Plus I didn't want to finish the season on the DL. That was a personal goal of mine."
When Alberto Callaspo was dealt to the A's on July 30, Nelson basically played third base every day, posting a .210/.223/.350 slash line over a 26-game stretch before going down with the hamstring injury. For now, the Angels will bring Nelson back slowly. Andrew Romine will continue to start at the hot corner in the immediate future and Nelson will be available mostly as a defensive replacement and potential pinch-hitter.
That's fine with Nelson.
"I actually feel like I'm part of the team now that I'm active," Nelson said. "Before, I was just traveling."
Trout on verge of sabermetric history
OAKLAND -- Everybody likes Mike Trout.
Sabermetrics lust for him.
The jewel of sabermetrics, the all-encompassing Wins Above Replacement, gave Trout a score of 9.9 under the FanGraphs.com system (fWAR) heading into Tuesday's game at O.co Coliseum. Not only does he easily lead the Majors, as Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen is second at 7.7, but Trout is on the fringes of some pretty special history.
Trout's Major League-leading 10 fWAR last year was the highest in history for someone in his age-20 season. His current score would be the highest for someone in his age-21 season or younger, with Rogers Hornsby the current leader at 9.5 in 1917.
No player has posted a second straight 10-plus WAR campaign in his age-21 season. And the list of players -- any age -- to boast back-to-back such seasons is about as prestigious as it gets ...
• Ty Cobb (1910-11)
• Babe Ruth (1920-21, 1923-24, 1927-24, 1927-28, 1930-31)
• Hornsby (1921-22, 1924-25)
• Ted Williams (1941-42, 1946-47)
• Mickey Mantle (1956-57)
• Willie Mays (1964-65)
• Barry Bonds (2001-04)
Trout, who turned 22 on Aug. 7, entered Tuesday one double and one triple shy of being the first member of the 10-20-30-40 club, which respectively accounts for triples, homers, steals and doubles. He's drawn an American League-leading 100 walks, entered Tuesday 17 hits away from becoming the 11th player to notch 200 hits in his age-21 season and has a .436 on-base percentage that would be tops in Angels history if the season finished today.
With a first-inning homer on Tuesday night, he became the first player in AL history with 25 home runs, 30 steals and 100 walks in the same year.
In other words, Trout has done the impossible: He's improved on his historic rookie season.
"Nobody has a crystal ball, but Mike Trout had the talent to do what he did last year, and he has the talent to repeat it," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He's not chasing numbers, and I think the guys who don't chase numbers usually play at a higher level because he's not affected by a negative performance in one game or one at-bat. He just comes back and keeps playing baseball. He has great makeup."
Wilson to host charity bowling event Thursday
OAKLAND -- Angels pitcher C.J. Wilson will host the fifth annual "Throw Strikes" bowling tournament at Bowlmor Anaheim from 6 to 10 p.m. PT during his team's off-day on Thursday, with proceeds benefiting patients at the Hematology Clinic of CHOC Children's and The Hemostasis and Thrombosis Center at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.
Festivities will include food, drink, prizes for top bowlers and a raffle. A $50 donation allows entry to the event and includes one game of bowling and a shoe rental. Tickets are available on Wilson's website, leftylefty.com, and at the door on the night of the event.
Wilson's Children's Charities, which is organizing the event, began in 2006 and "seeks to raise funds, awareness and most importantly youth participation in community service and charitable giving," according to a press release.
Jimenez likely done for the season
OAKLAND -- Luis Jimenez may not have enough time to make it back this year.
The 25-year-old third baseman was roughed up in a game against the Rangers on Sept. 7, injuring both of his thumbs and both of his shoulders, and Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Tuesday that Jimenez is "a ways away" from a return with only 12 games left in the season.
"Right now it's his right shoulder that he's dealing with more than anything," Scioscia said. "His thumbs are fine. But it's going to take him a while before he even gets to his throwing program, and right now he's just on hold."
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.