Up to now, the grounders Mark Trumbo has fielded at third base have come off the fungo bat of a coach and often, Angels infield coach Alfredo Griffin has been standing behind him offering tips.
Today, Trumbo is on his own. He's the starting third baseman for this afternoon's 12 p.m. Cactus League game against the Seattle Mariners. Trumbo, the rookie of the year runner-up last year, is attempting to learn a new position after the Angels signed superstar Albert Pujols to play first base in December.
It probably won't last long. Trumbo entered camp with a stress fracture in his right foot and still hasn't been cleared to run the bases, so he'll be pinch-hit for the minute his spot in the lineup comes up. He's batting ninth.
"I think a third baseman can get a lot out of playing maybe without even having a ball hit directly to him," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "The prep step, getting used to the angle, that kind of stuff is going to be really important to him."
One thing to watch: ex-Angel Chone Figgins, a deft bunter, is leading off for the Mariners. Will he test Trumbo?