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Mark Trumbo is starting in left field tonight

Apr 20, 2012, 7:50 PM EDT

Mark Trumbo Getty Getty Images

Mark Trumbo has been nothing short of a mess at third base, so the Angels have decided to try something new.

According to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, Trumbo will start in left field tonight against the Orioles. This is actually his first major league start in left field, though he played two innings there last season. He played 21 innings in right field last year and made one start there as a September call-up in 2010.

The original plan was for Trumbo to get semi-regular playing time at third base, but he has made three errors in three starts and hasn’t played there in a week. Because of the log jam between the first base, DH and corner outfield spots, the 26-year-old has been limited to just 23 plate appearances this season, despite batting .368/.478/.684 with two homers and four RBI.

With Trumbo in left field tonight, Vernon Wells will slide over to center field and Peter Bourjos will sit. Bourjos is struggling at the plate right now, so maybe it’s not the worst thing for him to take a breather. It’s also not a bad idea to see what Trumbo can do in the outfield. But hopefully this Wells over Bourjos business doesn’t become a regular occurrence.

  1. fat4jc - Apr 20, 2012 at 8:06 PM

    Why not put Pujols at 3B, and Trumbo at 1B?

    • fearlessleader - Apr 20, 2012 at 8:30 PM

      Because they’re already on the hook to pay Albert nine trillion dollars over the next ten years, and they don’t want to hasten his decline by asking him to manage the hot corner on chronically problematic legs. It might work as a spot solution, but it’s not a wise long-term plan.

    • scatterbrian - Apr 20, 2012 at 8:39 PM

      Aside from 33 2/3 innings last year, he hasn’t played 3B regularly since 2002…and he wasn’t very good when he did. They could probably use him as a stopgap, but every day would be a problem.

      Besides, while Trumbo has good power and is off to a nice start, he makes a ton of outs. His .294 career OBP is terrible, and not a good argument for more playing time.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Apr 20, 2012 at 9:35 PM

      didn’t pujols injury his elbow a few years back that causes him problems when he throws? Did he ever get that fixed?

    • spudchukar - Apr 21, 2012 at 5:20 AM

      Pujols would move if asked, he is like that, and has done it in a pinch in St. Louis, but it is bad policy to move him there unless it is an emergency. He has a fragile right elbow, which has avoided TJ surgery, mostly due to his grit. You are playing with fire asking him to make repeated difficult throws that third base requires.

      Trumbo isn’t even an adequate first baseman, and was only moved to third because of the trade. The Angels have dug themselves a hole that has no exits. Wells’ Albatross contract, which not only blocks Angels major league outfielders keeps Mike Trout the #1 rated prospect at AAA.

      Morales looks like he will once again become an offensive threat, but mostly relegated to DH, occasionally spelling Pujols in reverse roles. They even have two very good middle infielders in Macier Izturas and Alberto Callaspo who also rides the pine on most nights.

      Then there is still Abreau.

      So the Angels have two high priced outfielders, that even if they are willing to eat their contracts nobody wants them, so they can get nothing in return, possibly a middle reliever at best.

  2. scatterbrian - Apr 20, 2012 at 8:31 PM

    Perhaps this is a showcase for Trumbo. The Angels need some bullpen help, and Trumbo would be decent trade bait.

    • D.J. Short - Apr 20, 2012 at 8:38 PM

      I think you’re on the right track.

    • lvtutorservice - Apr 21, 2012 at 8:02 AM

      Look at what Trumbo has to offer. The pros are that he is young and has a lot of power. The cons are bad defense at third base and his on-base percentage. Another big con is the Angels’ upper management. Pujols was an unexpected signing by them considering that there are options on the team that provide power. Okay. So Abreu and Wells are on the decline but on the hook for millions. Morales and Trumbo are young but displaced now that Pujols is there. The Angels aren’t giving up Pujols anytime soon. So back to Trumbo. He is a square peg trying to fit in a round hole. Trading him wouldn’t be a bad thing for the other team. Letting go of Abreu and Wells to make room for Trumbo to play everyday in the outfield would be the right move. That’s not happening. So the Angels will have the mighty and powerful Callaspo at the hot corner and there will be much rejoicing. Good luck Angels.

  3. hemiguy08 - Apr 20, 2012 at 9:32 PM

    Trumbo isn’t going anywhere. The guy can hit it 500ft every time he’s batting. Hopefully this is the start of a Trumbo, Bourjos, Trout outfield for the next 10 years.
    What DiPoto needs to do is dump Abreu and Wells, who have zero trade value (but I’m sure some teams can spare some sorta pen help), then at least they’ll be off the books for 2013.
    I’d love to dump either of those buffoons for David Wright though…

  4. mikeincmn - Apr 20, 2012 at 9:41 PM

    No GM would take Wells salary off the hands of the halos. Abreu I can sorta see still having enough value and short enough deal that a team would take him, but the only guy stupid enough to take Wells got fired. That just about says it all.

    • odj810 - Apr 21, 2012 at 8:22 AM

      I think theres teams dumb enough to take wells. Offer him to the red sox. As long as they got back some salary I guarantee you would do that.

  5. hemiguy08 - Apr 20, 2012 at 9:42 PM

    “Besides, while Trumbo has good power and is off to a nice start, he makes a ton of outs. His .294 career OBP is terrible, and not a good argument for more playing time.”

    “Career” meaning rookie year and a few games this season. If his OBP is that low in the next couple years then that’s cause for concern.

    • scatterbrian - Apr 21, 2012 at 2:40 PM

      OK, but that .330 Minor League OBP doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence.

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