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Angels set to go with Trout-Bourjos-Trumbo outfield

Nov 4, 2012, 5:59 PM EDT

Peter Bourjos, Mike Trout AP

Speaking about the decision not to make a qualifying offer to free agent Torii Hunter on Friday, Angels GM Jerry Dipoto said he intends to go young and cheap in the outfield next season.

That means it’ll likely be Mike Trout in left, Peter Bourjos in center and Mark Trumbo in right on Opening Day.

“It wasn’t that we couldn’t fit Torii’s salary in” Dipoto said. “We made the decision to allow Trout, Trumbo and Bourjos to play on an every-day basis.”

That’s quite a change from last season, when Bourjos turned into nothing more than a defensive replacement after losing his job to Trout. He started just two games during the final two months, one of those coming in the final series after the Angels were eliminated. He had a total of two plate appearances in a seven-week span between Aug. 10 and Sept. 30.

Bourjos, though, is perhaps the game’s best defensive center fielder and one of the few people on the planet who could push Trout into a corner. Many believed Trout should have won a Gold Glove for his play in center last season.

Trumbo, a natural first baseman, got a brief look at third to begin last season, but that didn’t go to well. He went on to hit his way into the outfield picture and make 97 starts between left and right. However, his offense performance cratered after he made his first All-Star team in July; he hit just .227/.271/.359 with 10 homers and an 88/14 K/BB ratio in 256 at-bats after the break.

Besides leaving no room for Hunter, Dipoto’s decision also means Vernon Wells will be a $21 million fourth outfielder unless the Angels can trade him. He’s set to make about 10 times as much as the three starters ahead of him combined.

  1. hammyofdoom - Nov 4, 2012 at 6:16 PM

    It’ll be interesting to see if Trumbo is more the guy we saw the first half of last year, or the guy we saw all of the year before plus the second half of last. Also I don’t know how good he is in the outfield, but I can guarantee he’s going to look like he’s playing on one leg in comparison to those two

  2. Carl Hancock - Nov 4, 2012 at 6:16 PM

    Too bad for Hunter. He genuinely seemed like he wanted to stay in Anaheim and enjoyed playing there. Now he’ll finish out his career elsewhere. Always liked him, seems like a nice guy.

    • purnellmeagrejr - Nov 5, 2012 at 6:18 AM

      Article didn’t mention alll threee outfieleders were being sent to David Ecksteins’s Scrapppy University.

    • purnellmeagrejr - Nov 5, 2012 at 6:18 AM

      Article didn’t mention alll threee outfielders were being sent to David Ecksteins’s Scrapppy University.

  3. dwaibel38 - Nov 4, 2012 at 6:36 PM

    Hunter is going to be a HUGE loss – maybe not for his play (although he still boasted a .300 plus average) but for his leadership and ability to teach the Trouts and Trumbos of tomorrow the right way to play.

    • paperlions - Nov 4, 2012 at 6:41 PM

      Hunter is a great guy, and, I’m sure, a tremendous presence in the club house….but the idea that guys find their way to the majors without somehow already learning how to “play the right way” (whatever that means) is 12 kinds of laughable. For example, there is no evidence whatsoever that Trout didn’t already do all of the things that traditional fans consider “playing the right way”, he already hustled on every play and played smart baseball on the bases, in the field, and in the batters box.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 4, 2012 at 7:13 PM

        but the idea that guys find their way to the majors without somehow already learning how to “play the right way”

        My fave is the “that’s a rookie mistake” as if the guys were playing bocce ball all their lives, and managed to somehow get to the pro’s without every playing meaningful baseball anywhere.

      • historiophiliac - Nov 4, 2012 at 7:14 PM

        I think Trout has already acknowledged that Hunter has been a mentor to him — and there’s more to the game than just knowing what you need to do. Surely you appreciate the benefits that experience brings and that learning the mental part of the game is significant. You can’t believe that Trout knows everything there is about playing the game already.

    • Jeremy Fox - Nov 4, 2012 at 8:57 PM

      So what about the rookies who come up and play well on teams without anybody who’s famous for leadership? How do they ever learn to play the game the right way? And conversely, what about the rookies who come up on teams with famously great leaders like Hunter and don’t play well?

  4. dwaibel38 - Nov 4, 2012 at 6:49 PM

    While I understand where you are coming from (and I agree to some extent), there is no way there isn’t a correlation between having/not having veteran support when a phenom breaks into the majors. Tell me that you don’t recognize players who have the ability but never materialize has nothing to do with their support network and I will completely concede my argument.

    • paperlions - Nov 4, 2012 at 7:20 PM

      Yes, I think having a good clubhouse culture and open communication among players and coaches is helpful, especially for young guys that may be learning off-the-field nuances about being a major leaguer that are things they are not exposed to in the minors or college. For example, the team concept followed by Matheny/Cardinals (just using them because I am familiar with it) would make young guys far more comfortable and likely to succeed and be able to focus on baseball than a toxic back-stabbing every-man-for-himself culture Valentine created in Boston.

      Do I think those things relate to “playing the game the right way”? No, I don’t. Guys that are open to advice/mentoring are the kinds of people that tend to “play the right way” anyway….guys that maintain their own style or way of doing things will keep doing what they do no matter who tells them to change. They may change as they mature, but it won’t happen on someone else’s say so.

  5. historiophiliac - Nov 4, 2012 at 7:17 PM

    Well, there goes my reason for following the Angels.

  6. dwaibel38 - Nov 4, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    How does one explain Matt Bush then? Former #1 Draft Pick who played ‘meaningful games’ but has found himself caught up in being so highly regarded that he is out of baseball and dealing with ‘what could have been’? You have to acknowledge that there is an intangible impact veterans have for ‘superstar prospects’. That’s all that I meant be ‘play the right way’… Don’t be so literal people.

    • Jeremy Fox - Nov 4, 2012 at 8:59 PM

      Are you seriously saying that Matt Bush screwed up his life because of a lack of veteran leadership on the teams he played on? *That’s* the reason?

    • paperlions - Nov 4, 2012 at 10:13 PM

      If intangibles have an effect, then they are tangible….and yes, saying Matt Bush was a fuck up because of a lack of veteran leadership is stupid. You are suggesting that the veterans/coaches in SD are at fault and not Bush himself, which is pretty silly.

      I know people find this hard to believe….but most players that are good people with good work ethics are that way long before they ever run into a “veteran leader” in a MLB clubhouse…because they were raised that way….just like most players that are fuck ups are that way and generally stay that way (with the occasional case of a player eventually maturing). This is why many teams focus on player personality profiles and the kind of people they are…there are some things you can’t expect to change.

    • bigdaddy422 - Nov 7, 2012 at 6:46 PM

      As a former teammate of Bush in high school. He never played the game the right way. He was more into parties and the limelight then baseball. The Padres took him because he was cheap. After he signed his contract he caused over 100 grand of damage at a local San Diego hotel that he had a party in. That shows you from the beginning he was a joke. He is a decent guy but was only in baseball to make himself known. He had talent but didn’t care about the game. I for one am glad he is out of the game.

  7. dondada10 - Nov 4, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    Trout should play right and Trumbo should play DH.

  8. willclarkgameface - Nov 4, 2012 at 7:24 PM

    The Vernon Wells acquisition has to be one of the most idiotic moves in all of baseball history. Talk about an albatross of a contract. I know Arte Moreno is loaded, but even that one has to hurt.

    And you know Wells is going to bitch and moan all year about sitting the bench and not getting his ABs…Life sucks, doesn’t it Vernon? You get to make $21 million dollars next year to watch 162 baseball games from the best seat in the house.

    I so want your job right now.

  9. vallewho - Nov 4, 2012 at 8:05 PM

    The joys of having young, talented ,and low-paid players! And the reminder of how BAD the Vernon Wells contract and trade remains.

  10. datdangdrewdundunituhgin - Nov 4, 2012 at 8:56 PM

    i’m not trying to jack the thread here, but why is it that writers and commenters here are always willing to point out mark trumbo’s jekyll & hyde season(s), but never mention that mike trout’s offense went into the can late in the year as well? is the trout love so deep that it’s frowned upon to make observations? people were ridiculed for saying he fell off during the MVP discussions, but somehow all anyone talks about with regards to mark trumbo is his freakish power or his offense fading late. it’s weird, and i’m not taking issue with mike trout – just the writers and hype around him.

    • echech88 - Nov 4, 2012 at 9:10 PM

      Mike Trout had an .866 OPS in August and .836 in September.

      Please define “in the can”

      Mark Trumbo is nothing if he does not hit for power regularly. The guy went an entire month without hitting a double between July and August. He doesn’t get on base or play defense either so his slump is a nuclear bomb to the middle of a lineup whereas Trout still got on base 37% of the time when he went “into the can”

    • Jeremy Fox - Nov 4, 2012 at 9:15 PM

      Sigh…Mike Trout’s 2012 stats:

      first half: .341/.397/.562, 12 HR, 26 SB,
      second half: .312/.401/.565, 18 HR, 23 SB

      Yeah, he really fell apart in the second half, his OBP went down by minus 0.004 and his SLG went down by minus 0.003!

      Or, if you prefer to define “late in the year” as August and September:

      Aug.: .284/.366/.500
      Sept./Oct.: .289/.400/.500

      Hmm, I wonder why nobody talks about how Trout “went in the can” late in the year? What could the reason be??? I guess we’ll never know.

      Seriously, I look forward to your hilarious explanation for why the above stats constitute “Mike Trout’s offense going into the can”. I assume that you’ll attempt to redefine “going into the can” as “merely hitting at an All-Star level rather than a totally-frickin’-awesome level”? Or maybe you’ll claim that your whole comment was a typo and you meant to type “Thank goodness Trout continued to hit so well late in the year, that really helped cover for Trumbo’s fall-off”?

      How is life in your fantasy world? I assume the weather’s always great, nobody has to work…you know, the whole nine yards.

      • Jeremy Fox - Nov 4, 2012 at 9:17 PM

        whoops, echech88 beat me too it…

    • yahmule - Nov 4, 2012 at 10:05 PM

      This silly post has already been soundly discredited, but I wanted to add a few things. Why don’t we pro-rate his August and September numbers over a full season?

      He winds up with 36 HR, 147 runs, 84 RBI, 54 SB, .287.

      In other words, his two worst months last season extrapolate to a career year for 99% of the hitters in MLB history.

  11. echech88 - Nov 4, 2012 at 9:07 PM

    Call me crazy but this strikes me as further posturing in the event that the Angels deal Bourjos or Trumbo to pump their value.

    Bourjos & Trout I actually get…not sold on Dipoto being committed to Trumbo

    • Jeremy Fox - Nov 4, 2012 at 9:24 PM

      Is any other GM likely to be swayed by this sort of thing? I would think other GMs would listen to their own scouts and statisticians. I mean, I agree that Dipoto is taking a risk committing to Trumbo. But I can’t see him *pretending* to commit to Trumbo in the hopes of getting some other GM to overpay for Trumbo in a trade.

      • echech88 - Nov 5, 2012 at 10:56 AM

        Not necessarily pretending. I don’t think the Angels will have a problem keeping a guy as dirt cheap as Trumbo.

        But rather if they were to publicly say they are pursuing other RFs or looking for a solution outside of Trout and Bourjos…than yeah to me it would seem to tank Trumbo’s perceived value.

  12. dwaibel38 - Nov 4, 2012 at 9:59 PM

    @Jeremy – I am not saying that entirely. I am saying that it is more complex than just knowing how to ‘play the right way’ was being interpreted. A high school player knows how to ‘play the right way’ physically. What leadership does in a professional clubhouse is teach players how to ‘play the right way’ on and off the field. In instances of lackluster leadership and guidance, 20 year olds (and perhaps older) who don’t think about the long term aspects of the game (both on and off the field) suffer. In the case of Trout, he has had great support and leadership from Torii Hunter and I think without that support he would not have had as great a season (and perhaps career).

    Look – I am just trying to prove that the statement ‘playing the right way’ is a justifiable statement to make when dealing with players. I have obviously spent too much time doing so and will learn to ‘post the right way’ as soon as I get more veteran help… After all, I am fairly new to it and have a tendency to make some stupid mistakes…

    • paperlions - Nov 4, 2012 at 10:18 PM

      So….what you are saying is that Trout, who by all accounts is a great guy and hard worker, doesn’t have his parents/family to thank for instilling him with values and a work ethic than got him to the Majors at 19 and for being the best player in baseball at age 20….but rather, he should thank Torii Hunter. That. Is stupid.

      Yes, some kids that have never had a role model or that come from unsupportive environments could use some leadership/role models. Trout is simply not one of those guys.

      • historiophiliac - Nov 4, 2012 at 10:46 PM

        Don’t be obtuse, Paper. Playing HS, college and MiLB is not the same as the bigs (especially when you move up as fast as Trout). Yes, he’s a good player and he could mature on his own — but he could also learn a lot from an experienced player and his interactions w/ Hunter indicate that he is interested in learning from veterans. No one said the kid sucks — only that Hunter has been a significant help to him and he’ll probably miss Hunter’s input next year.

        I’m sure you may have been a better driver at 21 than you were at 16, with some years of experience. But, I would bet at 26 or 27 you were a better driver than at 21. You’d probably be even better if my mom gave you some tips.

      • paperlions - Nov 4, 2012 at 11:00 PM

        Yes, and people typically get better with experience more so than due to mentoring. Again, the only people that benefit from advice are those willing to listen to it….and typically, those willing to listen to it are among those least in need of it.

        I may be a better driver now than I was when I was younger, but that would be due to experience only (I don’t know if driving mentors exist, so…probably not the best analogy as exerience > mentorship), and even at 43 my next accident will be my first (I guess I would have a negative accident total if I had a driving mentor….how’s that for obtuse :-) )?

      • historiophiliac - Nov 4, 2012 at 11:19 PM

        See, this is where my mom can help you: being accident free doesn’t make you a good driver.

        You are grossly stereotyping here. You know that, right?

    • historiophiliac - Nov 4, 2012 at 10:39 PM

      Don’t let them intimidate you. They know good and damn well that a rookie doesn’t know it all his first year and can benefit greatly from veteran leadership.

      • Jeremy Fox - Nov 4, 2012 at 10:51 PM

        Yeah, good thing Hunter was around or Trumbo would’ve collapsed in the second half…oh wait.

        Fred Lynn had one of the great rookie seasons in history for the Red Sox in 1975. The same mid-70’s Red Sox teams famous for consisting of “25 guys, 25 cabs.” How did he ever manage to learn to play the game the right way in such a toxic clubhouse, with no veteran leadership holding the team together?

      • historiophiliac - Nov 4, 2012 at 10:56 PM

        You need to work on your reading comprehension skills, dude. You clearly did not understand what the man was saying. You are making a ridiculous argument that has no connection to our statements. No one said Hunter was the only thing that made Trout a success. If you didn’t get that, you need to take some remedial reading courses.

      • Jeremy Fox - Nov 4, 2012 at 11:36 PM

        historophiliac: you said Hunter was a “significant” help to Trout. I say you have *no idea* how much or little of a help his leadership was to Trout, compared to all the bazillions of other things that also went into making Mike Trout really, really good. What’s the point of picking out one of those bazillion things and talking it up?

        So, was Hunter’s leadership also a “significant” help to Trumbo?

    • Jeremy Fox - Nov 4, 2012 at 10:46 PM

      Fair enough if you want to believe that Trout would’ve played less well without Hunter’s leadership. Just don’t expect to be able to convince anyone else of it if they’re not already convinced. What you’re saying is pure speculation. Sorry, I’m just not into pure speculation, I just don’t see the point.

      Look, I think Torii Hunter’s a good player and a great guy. I’m sure Mike Trout likes him and wants the Angels to keep him. But I have no idea how we can even guess how Trout would’ve played without Hunter’s leadership. We can say pretty precisely how well Trout played. But you want to say something about *why* Trout played as well as he did? Sure, maybe it had something to do with Hunter’s leadership. But maybe it didn’t, maybe it had to do with the million other things that affect how well somebody plays. I have no idea, and I doubt anyone does, even Trout himself.

      I mean, how come Hunter’s veteran leadership didn’t keep Trumbo from falling apart in the second half? Surely you’re not much of a leader if you only lead some of the guys on the team, or only help some of the youngsters, right? Or would Trumbo’s collapse have been even worse if not for Hunter’s leadership? And if you reply “Hey, veteran leadership is just one factor among many and we don’t know how important it is, so don’t blame Hunter for Trumbo’s collapse”, well, that’s my point.

      The thing about these sorts of claims is that they’re always post-hoc. Nobody ever *predicts* how well some rookie will play based on the presence or absence of “veteran leadership” on the team. I mean, why not say that Trout’s success was down to the lifelong influence of a Little League coach, or to his own insatiable will to win, or to the influence of Pujols, or whatever?

  13. dwaibel38 - Nov 4, 2012 at 10:37 PM

    Wow – you all are things way out of context….lol

  14. dwaibel38 - Nov 4, 2012 at 10:38 PM

    If I didn’t know better – you all would be great politicians for either Obama or Romney

  15. dwaibel38 - Nov 4, 2012 at 10:42 PM

    Historio – Thanks. Not intimidated – just find it interesting. I don’t mind people who disagree. I just don’t like words being put in my mouth (or posts)…

    • historiophiliac - Nov 4, 2012 at 10:49 PM

      Some people on here think they’re clever and they just like to stir up arguments.

  16. dwaibel38 - Nov 4, 2012 at 11:00 PM

    Jeremy – I want you to feel good about yourself so, enjoy this… You are right, I am wrong. Sleep well

    • stlouis1baseball - Nov 5, 2012 at 10:23 AM

      Looks like Dwaibel just gave Jeremy a participation ribbon.

  17. paperlions - Nov 4, 2012 at 11:09 PM

    To sum up….the “veteran leadership” thing is 100% post-hoc narrative crap. Every team has veteran leadership….hell, with all of the veteran leadership on the Yankees, their rookies should all perform fantastically. This is the typical narrative trotted out when it is convenient and ignored the other 99% of the time it could be applied (which is always).

    If Trout and Trumbo were the beneficiaries of veterany goodness. Please identify all of the rookies that suffered last year from a lack of veterany goodness on their teams. Did Todd Frazier only play so well because of Veterany goodness? How about all of the young Cardinal players, was their veterany goodness spread too thin to be effective (so few old guys and so many young ones)? Is Starlin Castro’s continued failure to focus during games the fault of the veterans on his team? Ryan Lavarnway was the worst rookie in 2012, but his team mate (Middlebrooks) was one of the best; are we to believe that the veterans on that team didn’t share sage advice with Lavarnway and gave all their power to Middlebrooks?

    Again, I am not saying that leadership doesn’t help the players as people to make their transitions easier, but it seems highly unlikely that such manifests regularly in performance.

  18. dwaibel38 - Nov 4, 2012 at 11:18 PM

    Paper – you are minimizing my argument to fit your narrow minded counter argument, and you know it… And if you didn’t, I blame it on a lack of veteran leadership in your life ;)

    • paperlions - Nov 5, 2012 at 8:11 AM

      No, I am just pointing out that your “argument” is post hoc crafting that looks for explanation when none is needed. As is typical is such fabricated narratives, the story teller simply ignores all the cases that don’t back up the concocted narrative.

      Trout was awesome last year because he is very very good at baseball. While veterans that are good guys may have enhanced Trouts experience as a person, there is no evidence that they helped to enhance his performance.

      When TLR was manager of the Cardinals, the clubhouse culture was always divided between veterans and young guys (who were viewed as stealing the jobs of veterans, and TLR supported this idea, he disliked Luhnow and his products). Brendan Ryan and Rasmus each said their play suffered their rookie years because of the way the veterans looked down on and ignored them. Fine. The problem with that story is that when the alleged block to their performance was removed by being traded to teams with better clubhouse chemistry. They didn’t get any better. Indeed, Ryan’s best year was the year he said sucked because he was made to feel isolated in his own clubhouse.

      Narratives woven around the facts are almost always hokum, because they ignore all of the other applicable situations that don’t conform to the assumptions.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 5, 2012 at 8:50 AM

        Narratives woven around the facts are almost always hokum, because they ignore all of the other applicable situations that don’t conform to the assumptions.

        I agree with all your points, but when thing I think should be cleared up is what aspect of baseball are we talking about here, and how does leadership play into that? For instance, I’m sure Trout, like every phenom (or actually anyone who makes it to the pros) has been playing baseball for 10+ years at the highest levels. I’m sure he knows about 98% of what to do in baseball.

        However, there are many aspects of life that revolve around baseball, that a veteran like Hunter* could definitely help. How to deal with the day to day drag of travel. How to eat properly, no more fast food all the time. How to train properly in the offseason (cough Michael Pineda cough). How to deal with the media. What to do with all this money you are making. All those things no one really has to deal with until they hit the pros, so a vet could definitely help.

        *This is what Arod does for a lot of the young Yanks, and he doesn’t get enough credit for it.

      • paperlions - Nov 5, 2012 at 8:56 AM

        I get that Church, which is why I said Hunter likely helped him as a person to make things easier. The problem is that there is no evidence that such things manifest on the field. Plenty of rookies are treated great and given great advice and fail to meet expectations, others are ignored wholly and thrive. There is just no correlation there….that doesn’t make the efforts of the vets useless, it helps young guys in the trade…as people, not as players.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 5, 2012 at 8:58 AM

        I had a feeling that’s what you were describing, but too many in this thread keep bringing up actual baseball knowledge. Like the driving example above, it doesn’t hold water. The reason we were all terrible drivers at 16 is because we had never been behind the wheels of a car. The analogy would work if at 19, entering MLB, Trout had never picked up a bat.

  19. canadabaseball - Nov 5, 2012 at 1:03 AM

    I could see the angles trading trumbo for a good speedy outfielder that can hit #2 behind trout. Someone like Anthony goose or Emilio Bonifacio maybe even Alejandro De Aza just someone who will be able to move trout over

  20. don444 - Nov 5, 2012 at 3:16 AM

    Trout makes more sense in right to me than Trumbo, but I do like them getting Trout out of center and into a corner. Not a fan of Bourjos or any everyday player who’s primarily billed as a defensive specialist, but the Angels seem to believe in him and to really want him in that spot.

    • don444 - Nov 10, 2012 at 1:52 AM

      Don’t know why someone saw fit to vote this down given what I said is perfectly true. IDIOT!

  21. drdavidb - Nov 6, 2012 at 11:21 PM

    Trumbo suffered a bad second half because of competing in “The Home Run Derby”. It seems that just about all players who compete in “THRD” had a bad second half because their batting “mechanics” got screwed up because of the derby. Check the stats. It has happened more times than not.

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