Angels third baseman Mark Trumbo makes a backhanded stop on a grounder by…
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Angels slugger Kendrys Morales hit a home run and a single in three at-bats in Thursday's 11-8 exhibition victory over the Kansas City Royals to improve his spring average to .625 (10 for 16) and fuel more optimism the switch-hitter will claim an every-day designated hitter job after missing 1 1/2 seasons because of a broken left ankle.
That would seem to reduce playing time for Mark Trumbo, who led the team with 29 homers and 87 runs batted in last season, but it appears Trumbo will make up for the loss of DH at-bats by playing more third base.
Scioscia confirmed Thursday what has been apparent for a while: that Trumbo’s solid play at third has raised expectations for how many games the former first baseman can play at third this season.
“I think with Mark’s makeup, his agility and the ability he’s shown to make the routine plays, that ceiling has definitely moved off that 40-game range,” Scioscia said. “We’re very excited about how many times we’re going to have his bat in the lineup at third base.”
Trumbo, a star pitcher at Villa Park High School, clearly has the arm strength to play third, and his reads, footwork and reactions continue to improve.
“He’s come eons in his progress since we put him there,” General Manager Jerry Dipoto said. “He’s made some plays where you go, ‘Wow, I didn’t expect that,’ and that’s encouraging. The one thing I feel comfortable with is that Mark is going to be as good as he can be. He has that type of makeup.”
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