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Category: Bobby Abreu

Mark Trumbo drops toe tap for leg kick, gets immediate results

Trumbo_275 It was a small change, unnoticeable to all but the closest observers. But so far it’s paid off big for the Angels and rookie first baseman Mark Trumbo.

After going hitless in four at-bats Friday in Minnesota, dropping his average to .240, the lowest it’s been in a month, Trumbo dropped the toe tap he had been using as a timing device since last winter and went back to the leg kick he used last season when he led the minors with 36 home runs at Triple A Salt Lake.

The change paid off immediately with Trumbo slugging two long home runs -- combined, the two balls traveled nearly 900 feet -- in his next two starts, helping the Angels to a pair of victories.

“I did it in Venezuela in winter ball because I was seeing a ton of breaking balls, and at the  time it helped me stay behind [the ball] a little bit,” Trumbo said of the toe tap. “But it seemed like I got a little stale recently.”

The leg kick is similar but not as pronounced as the one hitting coach Dwayne Murphy taught José Bautista when Bautista came to Toronto. After hitting 43 home runs in 400 games in Pittsburgh, Bautista has hit 74 in the last two years in Toronto.

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Bobby Abreu back in Angels' lineup

A day after Bobby Abreu pulled himself from the lineup and went home sick, the Angels had him back in there Friday, batting second as the team's designated hitter for a Cactus League exhibition with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Several members of the Angels organization have been bothered by allergies in recent days.

Vernon Wells, who moved back to his old home in center field for a few innings Thursday -- making one putout in an otherwise quiet afternoon -- was back in left as Manager Mike Scioscia started most of his regulars. The only projected starters missing were Kendrys Morales, who continues to rehab the broken ankle he sustained last May, and catcher Jeff Mathis, who got the afternoon off.

Jered Weaver, the likely opening day starter, will be on the mound for the third time this spring. In his two previous starts he has allowed two runs on five hits in five innings, striking out five.

He'll be opposed by former teammate Joe Saunders, who was sent to Arizona last July in the Dan Haren deal.

Friday's lineup:

SS -- Maicer Izturis

DH -- Bobby Abreu

RF-- Torii Hunter

LF -- Vernon Wells

2B -- Howie Kendrick

SS -- Erick Aybar

1B -- Mark Trumbo

C -- Bobby Wilson

CF -- Peter Bourjos

P -- Jered Weaver

-- Kevin Baxter in Tempe, Ariz.

Angels' Bobby Abreu takes a sick day

Bobby_240 Just about everyone in the Angels' camp, from players to coaches to reporters, has been slowed by allergies at some time this spring. So it was no surprise that Bobby Abreu, who has been under the weather for a couple of days, had to take himself out of the lineup for Thursday's Cactus League game with the Royals at Tempe Diablo Stadium.

Abreu was starting in left field, batting second. He'll be replaced by Tyson Auer, who is hitless in eight at-bats this spring.

The revised lineup:

3B -- Maicer Izturis

SS -- Erick Aybar

RF -- Torii Hunter

CF -- Vernon Wells

2B -- Howie Kendrick

DH -- Alberto Callaspo

1B -- Mark Trumbo

C -- Jeff Mathis

LF -- Tyson Auer

P -- Joel Pineiro

-- Kevin Baxter in Tempe, Ariz.

Photo: Bobby Abreu. Credit: Marc Duncan / Associated Press.


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