Salt Lake Bees: Hank Conger striving to return to majors

Published: Thursday, April 19 2012 10:35 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — Bees catcher Hank Conger was out of Thursday night's starting lineup, a move that may have been the difference in the 8-4 loss against visiting Las Vegas.

A California resident, Conger appeared in 59 games with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and made 48 starts behind the plate in 2011.

"It was a big learning curve for me," said Conger.

Having been picked by the Angels in the 2005 draft, Conger has had a fair share of ups and downs but admitted that most of the experience he gained came from the wild rides that Triple-A players often endure.

"I got a taste of success and failure so it was a roller-coaster ride last year, and for me right now just putting in the work and improving on some areas that I need to improve in to make it up there and stay there."

When asked about the time spent with the Angels, the catcher acknowledged that consistency is the thing that stood out the most between the majors and the minors. That is something that the Washington state native is continuing to work on while he awaits the call-up.

"I'm just trying to stay consistent, I feel like my hitting has come a long way, feel like my catching has come a long way, but right now for me I still need to work on my throwing and that is my biggest concern."

Conger is currently riding a hot streak with 11 consecutive games with a hit, five of those being multiple-hit games. In his tenure with the Los Angeles Angels last season, Conger hit .209 with six home runs and 19 RBIs. As a perk, Conger slugged his first major league home run in his first at-bat of the season, and the Halos were 5-1 in games he homered.

"You go about your business really, get your work in and go out there and try to compete," said Conger.

NOTEBOOK:Andrew Romine managed to steal second base Thursday night against Las Vegas. The Bees now are now tied with Omaha atop the PCL in stolen bases with 18. Salt Lake kept a lid on the errors Thursday night, earning consecutive games without an error for the first time this season. … Utah Jazz forward Josh Howard will throw out the first pitch prior to the Bees' home game against the Las Vegas 51s on Friday night.

STREAK OVER:Mike Trout had 14 straight Triple-A contests with a hit, and was the only player in the PCL that has hit safely in each of his team's first 14 games this season. Trout was 0-for-2 with an RBI and a strikout.

ATTENDANCE: 3,323 fans came out to support the home team on a hipster friendly 'Ugly Sweater' night at Spring Mobile Ballpark.

email: cjohnson@desnews.com

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