Angels’ Trumbo ready for new challenge in 2nd year

Mark Trumbo did everything the Los Angeles Angels asked in 2011

– he led the team in home runs and RBIs, played a solid first base

and did his best to keep them in playoff contention.

Now, the Angels want something else from Trumbo after he

finished second in the rookie of the year voting. They’d like him

to shift across the diamond to third base.

The Angels signed star free agent Albert Pujols to play first

base. They’re also anticipating the return of first baseman Kendrys

Morales, who didn’t play in the majors last year after breaking his

left ankle during a home-plate celebration in 2010.

Trumbo has spent some time in the outfield for the Angels, but

has not played third base as a pro. He’s only been there a few

times in the team’s instructional league.

”As far as the fundamentals of fielding a ground ball, there

are a lot of the same fundamentals,” he said Tuesday. ”Using one

hand is going to come into play a lot. I learned to do that at

first to create better hops for myself. But I also need to be in

position to throw across the diamond.”

”I’m not so worried about the throw. My arm is in pretty good

shape and I’ll be fine there. I think it’s about taking my time and

fielding it cleanly and not rushing anything,” he said. ”I feel

better about myself now after years and years of infield


Trumbo is currently awaiting the go-ahead to return to a full

exercise regimen after sustaining a stress fracture in his right

foot during the final week of the 2011 season. He’s set for a CAT

scan on Feb. 28 in Los Angeles.

Trumbo was among a handful of position players who joined

pitchers and catchers for workouts. Manager Mike Scioscia said the

initial plan for Trumbo will be to take fielding practice with

pitchers at first base and then break into third base.

After that, Scioscia said, Trumbo will go full tilt at third

base with coach and longtime infielder Alfredo Griffin doing the


The 26-year-old Trumbo was pleased with his first full season.

He hit 29 homers with 87 RBIs, and came in second to Tampa Bay

rookie Jeremy Hellickson in the rookie voting.

”I didn’t even know how much I was going to get to play,” he


For the time being, his big season got him a locker alongside

several Angels regulars.

Trumbo has been mentioned in trade rumors, but the Anaheim-born

Trumbo hopes to keep building solid seasons with the Angels


”I’m pumped up,” he said. ”I’m excited for the prospects and

what we have here as a collective unit. It’s not really about me.

It’s about what we do as a unit and I think everybody here would

say the same thing.”

”We’re so happy to have (Pujols). Me being a younger player, I

can shadow him and ask him questions and try to learn whatever I

can because he’s as good as there is,” he said.