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.
Barring physicals and roster reshuffling, the Yankees and Reds are all but ready to finalize a deal involving right-hander Sonny Gray, Fancred’s Jon Heyman reported Saturday. The exact return has not been confirmed, but Heyman hears that the Yankees will receive top infield prospect Shed Long and a draft pick in exchange for Gray, with an as-yet unnamed third player possibly involved as well.
According to several reports earlier in the day, negotiations came down to the wire as the Yankees first had their eye on the Reds’ no. 6 prospect, 22-year-old catcher Tyler Stephenson. The Reds ultimately elected to hang on to Stephenson and send Long to New York, as they currently have a greater need for catching depth and weren’t expected to be able to provide a full-time role for the infielder in 2019. Long, 23, is ranked seventh in the Reds’ system and appears to be nearing his MLB debut after batting .261/.353/.412 with 12 homers and a .765 OPS across 522 PA at Double-A Pensacola last year.
Gray figures to step into a prominent role within the Reds’ rotation, which is likely to be a mix of recently-acquired left-hander Alex Wood and right-handers Tanner Roark, Luis Castillo, Anthony DeSclafani, and Tyler Mahle, among several others. Despite Gray’s struggle to remain productive on the mound — he’s three years removed from his only All-Star campaign and turned in a disappointing 4.90 ERA and 2.16 SO/BB rate in 2018 — he might yet help stabilize a team that trotted out the fifth-worst rotation in the majors last season. If, on the other hand, the veteran righty finds the hitter-friendly confines of Great American Ball Park a little too unforgiving this year, the Reds can take some comfort in the fact that he’s due to enter free agency in 2020.