Mark Trumbo has been nothing short of a mess at third base, so the Angels have decided to try something new.
According to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, Trumbo will start in left field tonight against the Orioles. This is actually his first major league start in left field, though he played two innings there last season. He played 21 innings in right field last year and made one start there as a September call-up in 2010.
The original plan was for Trumbo to get semi-regular playing time at third base, but he has made three errors in three starts and hasn’t played there in a week. Because of the log jam between the first base, DH and corner outfield spots, the 26-year-old has been limited to just 23 plate appearances this season, despite batting .368/.478/.684 with two homers and four RBI.
With Trumbo in left field tonight, Vernon Wells will slide over to center field and Peter Bourjos will sit. Bourjos is struggling at the plate right now, so maybe it’s not the worst thing for him to take a breather. It’s also not a bad idea to see what Trumbo can do in the outfield. But hopefully this Wells over Bourjos business doesn’t become a regular occurrence.
The Angels signed Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani for a $2.3 million signing bonus last weekend. They may have damaged goods on their hands. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that Ohtani underwent a physical that revealed a first-degree sprain of his ulnar collateral ligament. As a result, he got a platelet-rich plasma injection on October 20. This was made known to teams after Ohtani entered MLB’s posting system, so it wasn’t like the Angels went into this blind.
Ohtani’s report said, “Although partial damage of UCL in deep layer of his right UCL exists, he is able to continue full baseball participation with sufficient elbow care program.” It also said Ohtani “will most likely be available to start his throwing program approximately a month from the PRP.”
Passan notes that the report also mentioned that a “small free body” floats in Ohtani’s elbow near his UCL.
Ohtani isn’t without other injuries. He battled hamstring and ankle issues throughout 2017 and underwent right ankle surgery back in October. Thankfully for the Angels, this diagnosis is about as good as it could be considering the circumstances. However, if Ohtani does exacerbate his UCL issue, he may ultimately need Tommy John surgery at some point, which would take him out of action for at least a year.