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Angels bench Mark Trumbo rather than play him at third base

Mark Trumbo

Los Angeles Angels third baseman Mark Trumbo misses the diving stop on a ball hit by Kansas City Royals’ Lorenzo Cain in the fifth inning of a spring training baseball game Tuesday, March 20, 2012 in Surprise, Ariz. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)


Here’s how bad Mark Trumbo’s defense has been at third base: He’s hitting .375 with a 1.224 OPS so far this season and yet the Angels have left him on the bench for the past two games.

That they have a logjam at first base, designated hitter, and the corner outfield spots is nothing new and led to trade speculation all offseason, but the plan of lessening that logjam by using Trumbo regularly at third base appears to be a no-go.

Trumbo has played just three games there so far, making three errors and looking just as rough around the edges as nearly everyone predicted. To his credit Trumbo is saying all the right things about understanding the lack of playing time and continuing to work hard defensively to show manager Mike Scioscia that he can capably play the position, but some things are simply beyond the scope of hard work and determination.

Last year Trumbo appeared in all but 13 games for the Angels, but he’s already missed five games and has a grand total of 19 plate appearances two weeks into the season.