One of the best story lines this spring has been a strong push from first baseman Mark Trumbo.
It's good timing for Trumbo, a local guy from Villa Park High near Angel Stadium, and it could be good timing for the Angels, who might need an understudy to fill in at first base while slugger Kendry Morales returns to full health.
It's not quite the dream scenario it would appear, though. Trumbo might be the right guy at the right time in the wrong place.
He mashed the ball at Triple-A last year, tying the minor-league lead with 36 home runs and driving in 122 guys. He continued to hit in Venezuelan winter ball, against good competition, and he's kept up his thing this spring. He leads the Angels with three home runs, six RBIs and an .875 slugging percentage.
But do the Angels need another right-handed hitter with marginal speed and a propensity to strike out? If Trumbo is in the starting lineup, the Angels have six full-time right-handed hitters, two switch hitters and a lefty (Bobby Abreu). That makes them susceptible to right-handed starters and makes late-game pitching changes easy for the opposing manager.
Also, Trumbo struck out 126 times last year, a career high. If you've watched a lot of Mike Scioscia baseball, you'll know he likes to call for hit-and-runs, run-and-hits and straight steals frequently. Swings and misses tend to derail a lot of that stuff, leaving runners hung out to dry.
Frankly, I'd like to see what Trumbo could do if he gets a month's worth of at-bats, but I'm not sure Scioscia and his coaches are as eager as I am. We could be about to find out.