Angels' Mark Trumbo Shifting To Left Field





ANAHEIM — If Kendry Morales had flamed out last year, perhaps Mark Trumbo would be not be throwing an outfielder's glove into his equipment bag for spring training.

But Morales flourished in his first season as the Angels' first baseman, and that did not leave a first baseman of the future with a terribly bright future. So the Angels tried Trumbo in right field at the end of last season.

"We're going to explore that," farm director Abe Flores said.

The Angels lured Trumbo for $1.425 million in 2004, drafting him in the 18th round and then buying him out of a scholarship to USC. He was generally projected as a pitcher, but the Angels watched him launch rockets in batting practice at Angel Stadium and sold him on a hitting career.

That career blossomed in 2008, when he hit .281/.325/.540 with 33 home runs between high Class A Rancho Cucamonga and Double-A Arkansas. Of course, Morales blossomed in 2009, when he hit .306/.355/.569 for the Angels, finishing fifth in American League MVP voting.

By August, Trumbo was in the outfield at Arkansas. He played 10 games in right field, and the Angels brought him to instructional league for additional work in the outfield.

"It's functional," Flores said. "He played adequately in the corners. Obviously, he's got a good arm."

Trumbo, 24, hit .291/.333/.452 at Arkansas last year. Flores said Trumbo is ticketed for Triple-A Salt Lake this year, where he will play some first base, and some more outfield.

"He'll get some time out there, but it won't be exclusive," Flores said. "It enhances his value and his versatility. We want to allow him to get on the field, because he's got a pretty good bat."

ANGEL FOOD

• The Angels signed outfielder Michael Ryan, 32, to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training. Ryan, who played briefly for the Twins from 2002-05, hit .302/.379/.486 at Triple-A New Orleans last season.

• Outfielder Chris Pettit said he expects to be ready for spring training after suffering a slight labrum tear in winter ball. Pettit, 25, is expected to return to Salt Lake after hitting .321/.383/.482 with eight home runs in 371 at-bats there last year.