Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 7/9/12

The Los Angeles Angels' first half featured an old double-play combo.

"We've been, in the first half, like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," manager Mike Scioscia said Sunday. "We know the really poor start that we got off to. We also know the untapped potential that was in this team early. We're seeing it start to surface."

The Texas Rangers -- with the Angels' help -- did their best to bury the Angels early. Through the first 20 games of the season, the Angels had just six wins and had dug themselves a nine-game hole behind fast-starting Texas in the AL West.

Everything began to turn around when dynamic rookie outfielder Mike Trout was promoted and made his season debut April 28. Since then, the Angels' 42-24 record is the best in baseball. Los Angeles has moved within four games of the Rangers at the All-Star break and holds the first of the AL's two wild-card spots.

"With all the talent in here, now you're seeing what everyone's capable of. It's just kind of bizarre that it wasn't there," Mark Trumbo, one of the Angels' four All-Stars, said of the turnaround. "It happens, you know? I think we've definitely put that chapter to rest, and this is the team we knew we had."

Trout has been the key and could be the most important player on the team in the second half -- despite his age (20) and the presence of the $240 million man, Albert Pujols.

"Trout is part of our puzzle. He's doing unbelievable things," veteran Torii Hunter said of Trout, who leads the AL in batting (.341) and stolen bases (26) at the All-Star break. "Without his piece, the puzzle is not complete. I'm thankful he got called up and is helping this team win."

The Angels have issues in their rotation with both Ervin Santana and Dan Haren (on the disabled list with back problems) failing to live up to expectations. But Trout's arrival and the acquisition of reliever Ernesto Frieri have solved the team's two biggest problems heading into this season -- the leadoff spot and bullpen depth -- and made the Angels solid playoff contenders in the second half.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Sanu: Halftime show played role in Super Bowl collapse

James Dolan is among potential group of investors of new arena for New York Islanders

Report: Rams, Clippers discussing NBA venue in Inglewood

Terrence Jones reportedly interested in joining Celtics

LeBron reverses course, says he ‘always felt good’ about Cavs

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Ole Miss tried to implicate Mississippi State in football scandal

Jamaal Charles could be on the roster bubble

Jimmy Butler on state of Bulls: ‘I just want to win at all costs’

Report: Giants will be ‘aggressive’ in trying to sign Jason Pierre-Paul

Report: Porzingis avoided ligament damage in ankle

Brooks Koepka meltdown includes whiff, stomping head off driver

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Box Score 2/24: A night of NBA disrespect

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher who has recorded 10 or more shutouts in a single season

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker