After all the time and effort and attention put into turning Mark Trumbo into a third baseman, Albert Pujols has played there more often than Trumbo over the past 35 games.
With the Angels playing six consecutive interleague games in Colorado and Los Angeles without the DH, the Angels opted to move Pujols to third for a game in Colorado and start Kendrys Morales at first base in order to keep his bat in the lineup. They will “revisit” that lineup during the series at Dodger Stadium (though not likely on Monday when the Dodgers are scheduled to start LHP Chris Capuano). It was Morales’ first defensive action in a game since he fractured his ankle in May 2010.
Meanwhile, Trumbo has not played at third base since May 3 when he made the most recent of his eight starts there this season. Twenty-seven of Trumbo’s past 34 starts have been in the outfield — where he looks much more comfortable defensively than he did in his brief stints at third base.
Until Vernon Wells returns from his thumb injury sometime in late July and creates more pressure for playing time in the outfield, don’t look for Trumbo to be returning to third base.
“Because of the dynamics of where our team is there’s going to be much more outfield than anything else,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said of Trumbo’s playing time. “He’ll still work out at third and we’ll revisit it at some point. But right now I think the positions that he’ll be playing will be the corner outfields, first base and DH, obviously.”
But Scioscia would not say Trumbo’s relationship with third base is totally over.
“I don’t think you can evaluate his long-range, third-base play right now,” Scioscia said. “There’s no doubt there’s a comfort level — as there is with most guys — in the outfield. If you talk about, ‘Is it easier to get comfortable and play corner outfield or third base?’ There’s no doubt it’s corner outfield. I don’t think that’s anything you wouldn’t expect.”
NOTES, QUOTES Weaver set to throw off mound on Monday –RHP Jered Weaver (back strain) is expected to throw off a mound before the Angels game at Dodger Stadium Monday. Weaver has progressed rapidly through an aggressive throwing program with no recurrence of the back pain that sent him to the DL. He could be ready to rejoin the Angels’ rotation shortly after he is eligible to come off the DL Wednesday. –OF Mark Trumbo drove in a career-high six runs Sunday with a pair of three-run home runs against the Rockies. It was the fourth multi-homer game by an Angel this week. Kendrys Morales did it Monday against the Mariners, Trumbo on Tuesday, then Torii Hunter on Friday in Colorado and Trumbo again on Sunday. No Angel hitter had a multi-home run game in the first 55 games this season. –OF Mike Trout went 2 for 4 with a double, a walk and two runs scored Sunday. He is batting .514 (19 for 37) in June and leads the American League with 33 runs scored since May 1. Trout was on base 10 times in the three-game series at Coors Field and came around to score eight of those times. –C Chris Iannetta’s minor league injury-rehabilitation assignment was postponed by two days after he experienced soreness in his right forearm from increased workouts this week. Iannetta is now scheduled to start his rehab assignment with Class-A Inland Empire on Monday. He has been out since undergoing surgery on his right wrist on May 11. –LHP Scott Downs gave up a bloop double to Rockies OF Tyler Colvin and a single by SS Marco Scutaro leading off the ninth inning Sunday in Colorado. That produced the first earned run charged to Downs this season. Downs had not allowed an earned run since his final appearance of 2011 (Sept. 25, 2011), a stretch of 20 2/3 innings. He did close it out for his sixth save Sunday. BY THE NUMBERS: 11 — Times that Albert Pujols has had the RBI hit to drive in Mike Trout. Trout leads the American League with 33 runs scored since May 1. QUOTE TO NOTE: “It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a young player like him, who plays like him — a young player like that, knowing what he needs to do at the plate and just playing the game the right way.” — 1B Albert Pujols on Angels rookie Mike Trout.