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Angels' new game within the game: Where's Trumbo?

The SportsXchange

Mark Trumbo is a man on the move.

Trumbo started in right field Tuesday for the first time this year, and the second time in his career, and he went 1-for-4 Tuesday in the Los Angeles Angels' 5-0 loss at Tampa Bay. It was his fifth consecutive start at a fifth different position. Trumbo has gone from designated hitter to left field to third base to first base to right field in the past five games.

Playing time for the young slugger (displaced from first base by the signing of Albert Pujols last winter) has come in a burst. He started just five of the Angels' first 12 games this season -- three times at third base and twice at DH. But manager Mike Scioscia said the playing time has more to do with pitching matchups than any sudden motivation to get Trumbo, a right-handed hitter, in the lineup. The Angels have faced left-handed starting pitchers in four of their past five games, and seven of Trumbo's 10 starts have come against lefties.

The Angels' desire to transition Trumbo to third base got the most attention this spring, but he has started there just once in the team's past 14 games after making three errors in two starts during the first series of the year. Trumbo continues to work out at third base with coach Alfredo Griffin on a regular basis, and Scioscia said that transition remains a work in progress.

"It's a big adjustment going from first to third, but I don't think it's anything he can't do," Scioscia said. "Hopefully, he'll get to a comfort level there, but there's going to be an adjustment period for any player changing positions."

Unlike third base, Trumbo had some history in the outfield before this season, and he said he feels more comfortable there than at third base.

"I grew up playing more outfield than anything," he said. "Not to say I'm an excellent outfielder, but I think my speed translates a little better out there. I feel like I move pretty well once I get going -- as opposed to third base, where it's more about lateral quickness."

Trumbo handled the assignment well enough. He broke back on the first (and only) fly ball hit his way Tuesday and had to charge in to make the catch. The other action his way -- two of the four home runs allowed by Ervin Santana -- went well over his head.
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