Los Angeles Angels: Alfredo Griffin

Mark Trumbo takes the training wheels off

March, 7, 2012
3/07/12
9:56
AM PT
Up to now, the grounders Mark Trumbo has fielded at third base have come off the fungo bat of a coach and often, Angels infield coach Alfredo Griffin has been standing behind him offering tips.

Today, Trumbo is on his own. He's the starting third baseman for this afternoon's 12 p.m. Cactus League game against the Seattle Mariners. Trumbo, the rookie of the year runner-up last year, is attempting to learn a new position after the Angels signed superstar Albert Pujols to play first base in December.

It probably won't last long. Trumbo entered camp with a stress fracture in his right foot and still hasn't been cleared to run the bases, so he'll be pinch-hit for the minute his spot in the lineup comes up. He's batting ninth.

"I think a third baseman can get a lot out of playing maybe without even having a ball hit directly to him," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "The prep step, getting used to the angle, that kind of stuff is going to be really important to him."

One thing to watch: ex-Angel Chone Figgins, a deft bunter, is leading off for the Mariners. Will he test Trumbo?

Coach likes Mark Trumbo's chances at third

February, 23, 2012
2/23/12
2:08
PM PT
A lot of people seem to have an opinion about whether Mark Trumbo can make the transition from first base to third.

At least one of those people knows what he's talking about. Angels bench coach Rob Picciolo has been working with Trumbo for nearly a month, hitting hard grounders at him with a fungo bat and watching Trumbo's footwork and throws.

Picciolo, a utility infielder for nine years in the major leagues, also has the perspective of having worked with Trumbo six years ago, when the first attempt to make him a third baseman failed. Picciolo said Trumbo is more agile than he was in those days.

"From watching him over the last three weeks, I’m confident he can do it. To what degree, I’m not sure," Picciolo said. "He’s caught everything we’ve hit him, his feet have moved well, his arm’s a plus. I’m cautiously optimistic about it right now."

The Angels are hoping Trumbo can field adequately enough at third to get his powerful bat in the lineup alongside those of Albert Pujols and Kendrys Morales. Together, the three natural first basemen could provide the Angels with 100 home runs or more. That combination could give the Angels enough depth to match up with powerful offenses in Texas, New York, Boston and Detroit.

To ease the burden on Trumbo, the Angels have decided that manager Mike Scioscia and first-base coach Alfredo Griffin will tell him where to position himself before pitches. The next hurdle is for Trumbo, who missed the end of the 2011 season with a stress fracture in his right foot, to be medically cleared so he can test his lateral movement. He is flying to Los Angeles for a CT Scan on his right foot Tuesday.

Arm strength isn't an issue. Trumbo had a 95-mph fastball in high school. Accuracy on throws to second and first remains a question mark.

"We're starting off with baby steps," Picciolo said. "If he can catch routine groundballs and throw to the base, we’ll be fine."

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Jered Weaver
WINS ERA SO IP
13 3.70 126 167
OTHER LEADERS
BAM. Trout .289
HRM. Trout 28
RBIM. Trout 90
RM. Trout 85
OPSM. Trout .935
ERAG. Richards 2.61
SOG. Richards 164