Plans to give Mark Trumbo regular playing time at third base have gone by the wayside after he predictably struggled there defensively, so the Angels have used him at the hot corner just once in the past two weeks.
They have, however, used him just about everywhere else.
Trumbo started at designated hitter on April 19, left field on April 20, third base on April 21, first base on April, and right field yesterday. That’s five different positions in the span of five games, which shows the lengths manager Mike Scioscia will go to keep Trumbo’s bat in the lineup without suffering through his defense at third base.
With that said, Scioscia insisted to Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com that he hasn’t given up on Trumbo being a third baseman:
It’s a work in progress. I think in spring he showed the skill set to do what we feel a third baseman needs to do. It’s just that he had a couple of bumps in the road early, but we’re still working on it.
So far the Angels have played 149 innings this season and Trumbo has been at third base for 30 of them, committing three errors in just eight total chances. He is, however, hitting .324 with a .924 OPS.
We learned on Monday that Hyun-Jin Ryu won one of the final two spots in the Dodgers’ starting rotation. Brandon McCarthy has won the other, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports. Alex Wood was McCarthy’s competitor for the spot.
McCarthy, 33, posted a 4.85 ERA across four appearances spanning 13 innings this spring, yielding seven earned runs on 14 hits and a walk with seven strikeouts. Wood, a southpaw, gave up five earned runs in six innings against the Reds on Tuesday, which might have factored into the decision.
Last season, McCarthy made nine starts and one relief appearance, posting a 4.95 ERA with a 44/26 K/BB ratio in 40 innings. In the event McCarthy falters, the club has Wood as well as Julio Urias and the injured Scott Kazmir as potential replacements.
The Yankees have re-signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, George A. King III of the New York Post reports. Niese was released on Sunday, but he’ll stick around and provide rotation depth for the Yankees.
Niese had knee surgery last August and got a late start to spring training as a result. In six spring appearances lasting an inning each, the lefty gave up three earned runs on five hits and a walk with five strikeouts.
Niese, a veteran of nine seasons, put up an aggregate 5.50 ERA with an 88/47 K/BB ratio in 121 innings last season between the Pirates and Mets.