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Angels call up Mike Trout after releasing Bobby Abreu

The Angels promoted prospect Mike Trout and released Bobby Abreu on Friday in response to the team’s early-season struggles.

The Angels are 6-14, have lost five in a row, and are currently one of the worst teams in the American League. They’re tied for last in the AL with 13 home runs, tied for the third-fewest runs scored, and third-worst in slugging percentage. They’re hoping the 20-year-old Trout can give them an offensive spark.

GM Jerry DiPoto described the move as one designed to “add a little energy, get some spice … shake it up a little bit.”

Trout, who hit .220 with five home runs in 120 at-bats last season, was tearing the cover off the ball in the minors. The former first-round pick of the Angels was batting .402 and OPSing 1.091 through his first 20 games in Salt Lake City. Abreu had a miserable spring and was batting .208 with three extra-base hits in 24 at-bats. The 38-year-old is owed $9 million for the season.

The Angels made a major mistake when they let Abreu’s $9 million option for 2012 vest by giving him over 500 plate appearances last season. Now they’re paying for that management mistake, but at least they’re not waiting long to correct it. The team said they wouldn’t bring up Trout unless they had a spot for him. DiPoto says he’ll play.

Now that they’ve cut Abreu, you have to wonder how long it’s going to be before the Angels get rid of their other big mistake — Vernon Wells.