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.
Adrian Beltre has been on the disabled list all year because of nagging right calf strain, but he’s about to take a big step toward getting back to action.
Beltre has been cleared to begin playing in extended spring training games. He’ll commence them tomorrow at the Rangers facility in Surprise, Arizona. After three games the team’s doctors will reevaluate him. If things go well, he’ll likely be sent off for a full minor league rehab assignment.
Joey Gallo has filled in for Beltre all season, bringing a lot of power but not much else to the table. While Beltre is 38, his all-around game would be welcomed back on the field and his leadership would be welcomed back in the Rangers clubhouse. On a personal note, Beltre is only 58 hits shy of 3,000 for his career.
Barring a setback, he’ll be back with the big club in early June and will hit the milestone eventually.
Outfielder Michael Bourn was traded by the Diamondbacks to the Orioles late last season and hit a solid .283/.358/.435 in 55 plate appearances with them through the end of the season. While that’s not enough to outweigh the miserable season he had in Arizona, it was enough to get the O’s to give him a look in spring training with a minor league deal. They signed him to one in late February.
Then, a couple of days later, Bourn broke his finger while playing catch with a football. Unable to play, the O’s cut him. In early April, once Bourn healed, the O’s signed him again. He played 11 games for their Triple-A affiliate and went 9-for-41 with ten walks in 51 plate appearances. While that makes for a decent OBP, his lack of any sort of pop or good contact suggests that if someone throws him strikes, he can’t do much with the ball.
As such, the O’s had not called him up to Baltimore. And as a result of that, Bourn exercised his opt-out rights and became a free agent.
Someone may take a look at him given that his batting eye seems to be intact and given that, in an admittedly small sample size, he still performed last season. But if he does get a look, it’ll likely be back at the minor league level.