Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  By JOE McDONNELL  |  Last updated 8/9/13
ANAHEIM, Calif. What a long, strange baseball trip it's been for Angels' outfielder Peter Bourjos. The latest stop on that journey was Thursday night in Round Rock, Texas and it was a successful one. Successful because he went 1-for-5 with an RBI, a run scored and a great catch in center field for the Angels' Triple A Salt Lake City Bees in his latest rehab assignment. More importantly, though, it was a success because he managed to get through the 16-6 win over the Express in one piece. After having a breakout 2011 season on offense and defense but faltering throughout most of 2012, this was going to be Bourjos' year one way or the other. He was either going to start for the Angels and be an important cog as they tried to get back to the playoffs for the first time in four seasons. Or, he was going to be a golden trading chip for the Halos. The Washington Nationals had long expressed interest in having the speedy outfielder in their lineup, and when the Angels signed free agent Josh Hamilton away from division rival Texas, Bourjos appeared headed to the Nats and a chance to resurrect his career from the ashes of 2012. However, when manager Mike Scioscia announced that Bourjos was not going to be traded, it looked like the 26-year-old was destined to watch his career pass by him from the confines of the Angels' dugout. "I tried to stay positive," he said a few hours before joining rehabbing lefty Jason Vargas for a flight to Texas to join Triple A Salt Lake City and go against the Rangers' affiliate. "But when you have (Mike) Trout, Josh Hamilton and Mark (Trumbo) out there ahead of you, it was tough. Frustrating is probably a better word. "After last season I knew I needed to play to put my game back on the right track. I wanted it to be with the Angels, but I was at the point that I just wanted to PLAY." Scioscia said during the winter that he had faith in Bourjos and that he would find ways to help the Angels win games. The veteran manager turned out to be prescient. When Albert Pujols reinjured his plantar fascia early on, it meant that while Pujols his as the DH, Trumbo would play a lot of first base. That opened up a spot for Bourjos in the outfield, and he caught fire, hitting .313 before a pulled hamstring cost him 38 games on the DL. He came back in June and hit .370 for the month and looked like he had locked up a starting job for a long time to come. But the injury bug had other ideas. In a June 29th game against the Astros, Bourjos took a fastball off the right wrist and a not-so-nice gift came along with itsix more weeks on the disabled list. "You always know that as a player injuries are part of the game," said Scioscia, "but Pete seemed to really have a tough time of it so far this season. I think he was on his way to as good or better a year than in 2011. Now you may have to wonder what if?'" Bourjos knows about baseball's ups and down. His father, Chris, played for the San Francisco Giants. And Peter agrees that the frustration can get ridiculous sometimes especially mentally but he intends never to give in to the negative. "The last two years have been crazy," he said behind a wistful laugh, "but this is what I love to do and this is where I want to play. So, I'll just keep going out there and playing as hard as I can when I get back and try to help us turn this thing around." The ever-optimistic centerfielder hopes to return to the 51-62 Halos next week in New York.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Josh Gordon reinstated by NFL, suspended four games

Report: Florida QB Treon Harris to transfer

Jiu-jitsu athlete says he was kidnapped in Rio by men dressed as police

49ers’ Anthony Davis officially applies for reinstatement

Jordan speaks out against shootings, donates $2 million

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Cromartie may be forced to retire due to hip issue

Greg Jennings announces retirement from NFL

Vikings OT Phil Loadholt retires after seven seasons in NFL

Report: Yankees, Cubs in 'final stages' of Chapman trade

Report: Fitzpatrick got ‘multiple contract offers’ from Jets

A-Rod: Ortiz deserves Fenway statue, street named after him

Jags GM: Greg Hardy workout was to 'do our homework'

Cubs to acquire Aroldis Chapman from Yankees

White Sox refused to tip Mariners’ clubhouse attendants in protest of new policy

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

Aldon Smith denies appearing in video with marijuana blunt

Twitter signs deal with to stream live MLB and NHL games

Julian Edelman is dating Adriana Lima?

NFL reportedly determines Peyton Manning didn't use PEDs

KD, Draymond Green booed in L.A. during Team USA exhibition

Top storyline for each NFL team heading into training camp

Eight MLB veterans that need to be traded before deadline

Andre the Giant drank six bottles of wine before match?

MLB 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

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

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