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Angels' Scioscia considers moving Trumbo to cleanup spot full time

July 14, 2012|By Mike DiGiovanna
  • Mark Trumbo hits a three-run home run against the New York Yankees, Friday.
Mark Trumbo hits a three-run home run against the New York Yankees, Friday. (Frank Franklin II / Associated…)

NEW YORK — Mike Scioscia has resisted making Mark Trumbo his full-time cleanup hitter, even though Trumbo’s power and performance — and Kendrys Morales’ lack thereof — clearly warrant such a move.

But the Angels manager is wavering on the issue, acknowledging before Saturday's game against the New York Yankees that locking Trumbo into the fourth spot behind Mike Trout, Torii Hunter and Albert Pujols “is something we’re looking at.”

The switch-hitting Morales bats cleanup against right-handers because Scioscia prefers to break up the right-handed hitters at the top of the lineup with a left-handed bat. Trumbo hits fourth against left-handers.

But Trumbo, an American League All-Star who is batting .308 with a team-leading 23 home runs, 60 runs batted in and a .667 slugging percentage, is actually hitting better against right-handers (.317 average, .374 slugging percentage, 15 homers) than lefties (.289/.326, eight homers).

Morales has struggled to regain his 2009 form after missing a year and a half because of a broken left ankle. He's hitting .285 with a .426 slugging percentage, eight homers and 33 RBIs and a solid .290 with runners in scoring position. But he has one homer and 10 RBIs in his last 23 games.

“If Kendrys isn’t as productive as he can be and we have to adjust, we will,” Scioscia said. “But Mark is getting the table set. He’s getting plenty of opportunities where he is. He’s getting pitched to, so it’s not a situation we have to address.”

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