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Angels not ready to commit to Mark Trumbo as full-time cleanup hitter

June 19, 2012|By Mike DiGiovanna
  • Angels third baseman Mark Trumbo singles during Sunday's game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Angels third baseman Mark Trumbo singles during Sunday's game against… (Lisa Blumenfeld / Getty…)

Mark Trumbo has been the Angels' most consistent power hitter all season, taking a .319 average and team-leading 16 homers and 42 runs batted into Tuesday night's game against the San Francisco Giants.

The right-handed-hitting outfielder also had the same .319 average against right-handers (46 for 144) as he did against left-handers (23 for 72), and his slugging percentage against right-handers (.590) wasn't too far off his mark against lefties (.681).

But Manager Mike Scioscia said he will continue to use switch-hitter Kendrys Morales in the cleanup spot and Trumbo in the fifth spot against right-handers, even though Morales is hitting just .270 with seven homers and 23 RBIs and entered Tuesday with just four hits in his last 32 at-bats from the left side.

Trumbo will continue to bat cleanup against left-handers, as he will against Giants lefty Barry Zito Tuesday night.

"We talk about lineups every day, but as of now, we have no plan to move Kendrys out of the cleanup spot against right-handers," Scioscia said. "For us to get to where we need to be, we need Kendrys to be a big part of it. And I think the lineup is deeper with Kendrys and Trumbo behind Albert Pujols."

Morales, who returned this season after missing a year and a half because of a broken left ankle, has some shown power in clusters this season, going five for 13 with three homers and five RBIs in a three-game series against Seattle June 4-6.

But he is nowhere near as dangerous a slugger as he was in 2009, when he hit .306 with 34 homers and 108 RBIs, and he is not hitting that much better from the left side (.294) than the right side (.265).

"Right now he needs to get a little simpler from the left side," Scioscia said of Morales. "He's starting to sway a little bit, and he's not tracking pitches the way he needs to. He just needs to find a comfort zone."

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