Setback in Mark Trumbo's rehabilitation will delay move to third base
A foot-and-ankle specialist advised Angels first baseman Mark Trumbo to give the stress fracture in his right foot at least another month to heal, a minor snag that will delay a potential move to third base for the rookie-of-the-year candidate.
Trumbo, who has been limited to upper-body work since his injury was diagnosed in late September, was hoping to get cleared for baseball activity when he visited Dr. Phillip Kwong on Friday.
But while Trumbo said a CT scan showed "a lot of improvement," Kwong told Trumbo that it would take at least another month and possibly six weeks to fully heel.
“We’re still going to proceed with caution,” said Trumbo, who hit .254 last season and led all major league rookies with 29 home runs and 87 runs batted in. “I’m a bit disappointed, but these are the experts. They feel it would be wise to give this ample time to get better.”
Trumbo will be limited to upper-body lifting and will not do any lower-body work until mid-December.
Once he resumes baseball activities, a focal point of his winter regimen will be a potential move to third, a position the Angels hope the slugger can play on a part-time basis in order to clear first base for the anticipated return of Kendrys Morales, who has missed 1½ seasons because of a broken left ankle.
Manager Mike Scioscia said the day after the season ended that the Angels would explore the move and recently spoke to Trumbo about working with bench coach Rob Picciolo, who was formerly the team’s minor league roving infield instructor.
“I want to at least be adequate and hope to improve and keep progressing,” Trumbo said. “It’s all about making the routine play and being dependable and then maybe making some plays that are not so routine.”
Trumbo, who will learn Monday whether he’ll be the Angels’ first rookie of the year since Tim Salmon in 1993, worked out at third base during his time in the instructional league after being drafted in 2005, but a lack of range, footwork and instincts prompted a quick move to first.
Trumbo’s power would be welcomed at a position the Angels have had virtually no power at since 2004, but the Angels don’t expect the 25-year-old to become the next Troy Glaus.
“I think the experiment wouldn’t be to see if he could be a 162-game third baseman, but if he could be a 50-game third baseman,” Scioscia said. “It would deepen our lineup to have his bat in there with some of the others” who could play first base.
Photo: Mark Trumbo fields ground balls at first base during a drill in spring training last February. Credit: Mark Duncan / Associated Press