ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Two months ago Mark Trumbo was an All-Star and arguably the Los Angeles Angels' most reliable power hitter. His sizzling start to the season is what kept the team afloat while Albert Pujols stumbled out of the gates. But a wicked second-half slump has left Trumbo and the Angels searching for answers, and for the third time in a week, the answer manager Mike Sciocia arrived at was to sit Trumbo in place of Vernon Wells.
"He's obviously in a bit of a downturn," Scioscia said of his powerful left fielder, who is hitting just .182 in August and September. "But he's working hard to find himself."
For his part, Trumbo says his swing has been feeling better in the last week or so.
"The last couple days I've felt closer to where I want to be, the results notwithstanding," he said. "But the feeling of my swing feels a lot closer to what I want it to be."
Scioscia said the days off he has given Trumbo of late (Sept. 4, 8 and 11) have been as much to give him a chance to "clear his head" as to play Wells, who hit his 10th home run on Monday and now has hit four homers in his last 14 games with an at-bat.
While Trumbo says he understands the rationale, he wasn't exactly enthusiastic about the pattern.
"Call it what you want. They're just days I'm not in there," he said. "Whether it's a breath of fresh air or not, the bottom line is they're just days I'm not in there."
Here's a look at tonight's lineup:
Coco Crisp CF
Seth Smith LF
Josh Reddick RF
Brandon Moss 1B
Stephen Drew SS
Dan Straily RHP (1-0, 3.18 ERA)
Mike Trout CF
Torii Hunter RF
Albert Pujols DH
Howie Kendrick 2B
Erick Aybar SS
Vernon Wells LF
Jerome Williams RHP (6-7, 4.59 ERA)