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Mark Trumbo may share time at first base for the Angels. Because of defense.

Mar 29, 2011, 11:00 AM EDT

Mark Trumbo AP

When I wrote the Angels preview the other day I assumed that Mark Trumbo would be taking over the first base job until Kendrys Morales can come back. As I said, Trumbo “hit the tar out of the ball at Salt Lake City last year, hit the tar out of the ball down in Venezuela over the winter and has continued to hit the tar out of the ball this year during spring training.”

Apparently that’s not good enough for Mike Scioscia, because he’s taken a shine to Howie Kendrick at first base over the past 10 days, and said yesterday that he’d use him there at least a couple of times a week. Here’s Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times:

Scioscia believes that infield will provide better overall defense, because Kendrick, who has started 53 major league games at first, rates a slight edge over Trumbo, whom the manager described as “a work in progress” defensively. “. . .He’s adequate and improving,” Scioscia said.

Look, the example of Brandon Wood is proof that, no, you can’t trust everyone who rakes at Salt Lake City to be good in the majors. ┬áBut really: is Mike Scioscia truly going to make his decision of who plays at first base based on defense?

  1. stealofhome - Mar 29, 2011 at 11:18 AM

    I think Scioscia wants to be the only first name “M” on the team. First Mike Napoli, now Mark Trumbo…WHERE DOES IT END? I’ll bet if Matt Holliday was on the Angels, he would be benched for Jonny Gomes. We would be told it was because of Gomes’ ability to perform in the clutch or some such nonsense, but we would know the true reason.

  2. tomemos - Mar 29, 2011 at 11:26 AM

    Mike Scioscia is psychotic on this point, it seems. One hoped that his preference for the can’t-hit-at-all Mike Mathis over the quite-a-good-hitter Mike Napoli was just based on Scioscia’s attraction to *catching* defense–him being a former catcher and all–but no, apparently he’s like this at every position. Poor Angels.

    • tomemos - Mar 29, 2011 at 11:28 AM

      Er, Jeff Mathis. Sorry.

  3. Erik Klemetti - Mar 29, 2011 at 12:06 PM

    Is it possible to have a worse-hitting infield than Kendrick-Aybar-Izturis-Callapso-Mathis? Good lord, the Angels better hope Wells hits 60 HR.

  4. JBerardi - Mar 29, 2011 at 12:35 PM

    But really: is Mike Scioscia truly going to make his decision of who plays at first base based on defense?

    No no, I’m sure Mike Scioscia will also consider bunting and the ability to go first-to-third when deciding on his first baseman.

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