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ANGELS FYI

Only Mike Scioscia knows when Mark Trumbo will be on third

I don't know who's on third, Angels fans may be thinking. But Mark Trumbo made his fourth start there Saturday after turns as designated hitter, in left field and on the bench.

April 21, 2012|By Baxter Holmes
  • Mark Trumbo's defense may be a liability at third base, but his offense -- he was batting .386 coming into Saturday -- seems to be too good to keep out of the lineup.
Mark Trumbo's defense may be a liability at third base, but his offense… (Lisa Blumenfeld / Getty…)

Abbott and Costello probably would have loved how the Angels are moving Mark Trumbo around on defense.

One night, he's the "who" on third base. Another night, like Friday, he's the "who" in the outfield.

And if Angels fans have trouble finding the slugger on the field, he might just be a DH that game (he's done that three times) or sitting out (he hasn't played in six games).

Against Baltimore on Saturday, the 26-year-old made his fourth start of the season on third, where he moved from first base at the start of this season and where he has also recorded three errors that have raised concerns.

But against the Orioles the day before, Trumbo was playing in left field for the first time this season.

"I only played a game or two in right field [in spring training], but I grew up playing outfield," Trumbo said after Friday's game. "I'm not a tremendous outfielder, but I'm more experienced" than at third.

While Trumbo's defense may be a liability at third base, his offense — he was batting .386 coming into Saturday — seems to be too good to keep out of the lineup.

Angels Manager Mike Scioscia firmly believes Trumbo can play third, despite Trumbo's defensive mishaps there.

"He played well in spring training and he got to a little rough start this season, but his skill-set is definitely suited to say he can play third base in the major leagues," Scioscia said.

"It's just getting comfortable and getting acclimated. We'll watch him and hopefully he'll settle in and start making the routine plays the way he can. On the practice field, he looks great."

The Angels are just waiting for Trumbo to perform that way in games.

Energy saver

Reliever Jordan Walden recorded his first save of the season Friday; he hadn't earned one of those since Sept. 24, 2011. He looked a bit too excited, as one curveball bounced over the screen behind home plate into the crowd.

"I really had to tell myself to calm down a lot," Walden said before Saturday's game. "It had been a while since I've had that feeling."

Short hops

Second baseman Howie Kendrick, who recorded three hits and drove in three runs in the Angels' 6-3 win Friday, was given the game off after playing seven straight and 13 of 14. Scioscia said he'll return Sunday.... Reliever Bobby Cassevah was scheduled to make his second consecutive appearance in Triple-A Salt Lake on Saturday. Scioscia said Cassevah will stay in the minors for now to work on mechanics. "He's got a little bit of work ahead of him," Scioscia said. "He's still working on location. His life is back on his fastball. He's got a good sinker; he just has to refine it."

baxter.holmes@latimes.com

twitter.com/baxterholmes

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