Mark Trumbo living large in left

February, 28, 2014
Feb 28
11:09
AM ET
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- At 6-foot-4, 235 pounds, Mark Trumbo fits the physical profile of a first base masher more than a corner outfielder. But the Arizona Diamondbacks already have an elite first baseman in Paul Goldschmidt, so they've reached an informal accommodation with Trumbo: If he can keep hitting 30 homers a season, they'll gladly give him time to find his comfort zone.

Trumbo, acquired by Arizona from the Los Angeles Angels by trade in December, has spent a lot of time in individual instruction with Diamondbacks coach Dave McKay this spring. He has been particularly attentive to making adjustments with his footwork to improve his throwing from left field.

[+] EnlargeMark Trumbo
Mike McGinnis/Getty ImagesMark Trumbo is already showing some leather as he adjusts to life in left field.
"I probably broke a few habits that need to be broken for me to be an everyday outfielder," Trumbo said. "More repetitions is going to equal more comfort."

Trumbo, 28, hit 95 homers to tie Giancarlo Stanton and Edwin Encarnacion for fifth in the majors from 2011-13. But the Angels needed pitching, and they shipped him to Arizona in a three-team, six-player trade that sent left-handed pitchers Tyler Skaggs and Hector Santiago to Anaheim and center fielder Adam Eaton to the White Sox. Until the Diamondbacks jumped into the fray, most of the hot stove rumors listed Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Seattle as Trumbo's most ardent suitors.

While Goldschmidt will bat third for Arizona this season, Trumbo is expected to slot somewhere into the 4-5-6 mix with third baseman Martin Prado and catcher Miguel Montero. Logic says Trumbo might benefit from the move to Chase Field, which has a reputation as a launching pad, but it was only the 16th-most generous home run venue in the majors last season according to ESPN.com's ballpark factors. Angel Stadium of Anaheim ranked 20th.

Not that it matters much to Trumbo. ESPN's Home Run Tracker listed his 475-foot shot off Oakland's Dan Straily in April as the third-longest homer in the majors last season, and he ranked fourth behind Mike Trout, Justin Upton and Stanton with an average home run distance of 413.2 feet.

Trumbo has made 122 big league starts in the outfield compared to 276 at first, so it's not as if he's a complete stranger to his new environs. In the first inning of Arizona's Cactus League opener, he ran in and made a nice diving catch on a sinking liner by the Dodgers' Chone Figgins.

Once the regular season begins, Trumbo's efforts to adjust to playing left field full time will be complicated by the spacious outfields in the National League West. But if the Diamondbacks thought he lacked the attributes to handle the transition, general manager Kevin Towers never would have acquired him.

"He's a very good athlete, and he's very coachable," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. "You see something and talk to him, and two days later you don't have to retell him. He gets it."

Jerry Crasnick | email

ESPN.com MLB Sr. Writer

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