After making two errors in the Angels' season-opener, third baseman Mark Trumbo admitted his confidence was shaken. It may not be much better after another error on Sunday, this one coming in an Angels' loss.
Trumbo didn't play in Saturday's loss to Kansas City, but was back at the hot corner on Sunday and had another error, this time mishandling a grounder by Lorenzo Cain in the sixth inning, leading to an unearned run charged to starter Ervin Santana.
"It's pretty obvious that I've had some plays get away from me, but I take it very seriously and I want to contribute in all facets of the game," Trumbo told reporters on Sunday (via the Associated Press). "I'm not terribly pleased with the way it's gone so far, but I'm going to keep putting in the work and just use it as motivation to get better."
But should the Angels let him keep trying? Trumbo never played third base in the minors, made four errors during spring training and now three in his two games there this season. As much concern as there's been about Miguel Cabrera and Hanley Ramirez playing third, Trumbo may be a worse fielder than either of those two at the moment -- or at least he has been in the first two games.
There are people even asking if Albert Pujols could return to third base, but the team doesn't even need to do anything that drastic. The Angels still have Alberto Callaspo, who started 125 games at third last year, on the bench.
The question is, how much better -- if any -- are the Angels with Trumbo at third over Callaspo? According to WAR -- Trumbo was less valuable, with Callaspo putting up a (Baseball-Reference.com) WAR of 4.5 to Trumbo's 2.1. Much of that was tied into Callaspo's defense, but he put up a 2.8 oWAR, still a full run higher than Trumbo's 1.8 WAR.
Trumbo hit 29 homers a year ago, but slugging was almost all he brought to the table, hitting .254 with a .291 on-base percentage.
Trumbo's a nice player, but if Mike Napoli was disposable before the Angels had Pujols and a healthy Kendrys Morales, Trumbo is hardly irreplaceable. The 26-year-old Trumbo could still play in left, but good luck trying to find a taker for Vernon Wells or Torii Hunter at this point -- Trumbo is a more marketable player and could get bring another player in return.
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