Slow recovery from foot injury delays Mark Trumbo’s potential move to third base

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Mark Trumbo said earlier this week that the Angels wanted him to work with bench coach Rob Picciolo this offseason in order to see if he could be an option at third base, but those plans will have to be put on hold for now.

Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that a foot and and ankle specialist told Trumbo that the stress fracture in his right foot needs at least another month to heal. The American League Rookie of the Year candidate was shut down during the final week of the regular season due to the injury.

“We’re still going to proceed with caution,” said Trumbo. “I’m a bit disappointed, but these are the experts. They feel it would be wise to give this ample time to get better.”

Trumbo, 25, stepped in admirably at first base for the Angels this season, batting .254/.291/.477 with 25 home runs, 87 RBI and a .768 OPS over 573 plate appearances. However, with Kendrys Morales on the comeback trail from a second surgery on his troublesome left ankle and the outfield and DH spots crowded enough that top prospect Mike Trout could begin the 2012 season in the minors, Trumbo may struggle to receive regular at-bats moving forward.

Angels manager Mike Scioscia said the experiment isn’t to see if Trumbo can be a full-time third baseman, but rather a “50-game third baseman.” That may be wishful thinking, though. Trumbo has never played a game at third base professionally and many believe his lack of range will be an issue. That he’s coming off a foot injury probably doesn’t help matters.

Rob Manfred says Tampa Bay must pick up pace on new stadium

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred wants Tampa Bay to work a little quicker on getting the Rays a new ballpark.

Rays Principal Owner Stuart Sternberg has been working for nearly a decade to get a new stadium for the club and signed a three-year agreement with the City of St. Petersburg early in 2016 to search for a site in the Tampa Bay area. Manfred wants that search to pick up some steam.

“I think it’s fair to say we want the process to take on a better pace moving forward,” Manfred said Wednesday night at Tropicana Field, home of the Rays since their first season in 1998.

The Rays were averaging 15,815 fans per game before Wednesday night’s contest against the Toronto Blue Jays. That is just over half the major league average of 30,470. Tropicana Field and its location have been almost universally blamed as the reason for the poor attendance.

“I’ve been pretty clear that they need a new facility here, a major league quality facility in an A-plus location,” Manfred said. “It is time to move that decision to the front burner here in Tampa.”

The matter of how a stadium would be financed has been tabled until a site is determined, but Sternberg continued to express confidence in the Tampa Bay market.

“I’ve had the opportunity to bail on it many times over the years,” he said. “I won’t say this is a slam dunk, it’s certainly not. But I think we can do something that’ll at least double our attendance. That’s a lot to ask for.”

Manfred said Major League Baseball “doesn’t have a firm timetable” for what steps to take if the Rays fail to get an agreement to build a new stadium in the Tampa Bay area, but but added that “it is a topic of discussion in the industry, the lack of progress.”

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

Robinson Cano leaves game with hamstring tightness

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Bad news for the Mariners this evening: Robinson Cano left Seattle’s game against the Atlanta Braves with tightness in his left hamstring.

Cano walked off the field after legging out a double — his second of the game — in the third inning. He pulled up as he approached second base and walked off the field, accompanied by a trainer. There was no immediate word on the severity of the injury. The Mariners have a day off Thursday before opening a series at the Yankees on Friday night, so they have some time to evaluate him.

Cano is hitting .277/.377/.460 with 19 homers and 78 RBI on the year.