Is Mark Trumbo Really a Defensive Liability?


When the Arizona Diamondbacks acquired Mark Trumbo from the Los Angeles Angels in a three team trade at the Winter Meetings, the Snakes checked off the number one goal off their offseason wish list. They were looking to find a power bat that can protect Paul Goldschmidt in the lineup and help the team produce more runs in 2014. We all know how much power Trumbo has at the dish. Now the Arizona lineup should be more dangerous with a 3-4 combo of Goldy and Trumbo.

However, when the D’backs traded for Trumbo the critics didn’t have a problem with his bat. They had a problem with how many times he will strike out and his less than stellar defense in left field. Trumbo, who has bounced around from third base to the outfield throughout his career doesn’t come in with the greatest defensive reputation. As he begins playing actual games in the Cactus League, he is glad to focus on just one position. General Manager Kevin Towers is confident he won’t be a liability in left field. “I believe this guy is going to turn himself into a solid-average defender out there,” he said. “Only time will tell, but I wouldn’t bet against him. If we had that huge of concerns, it probably would have been difficult for us to make the deal. But there was a comfort level from our group, as evaluators, that he’d be able to handle it, and we felt the offense that he brought was a real plus.”

I have to agree with K.T. on this one. Trumbo has been bouncing around his whole career and hasn’t been able get comfortable or really know one position that well. This season he will be able to call left field his own and has spent Spring Training focusing on improving his defense. Thankfully for Mark he gets to work with a great coach Dave McKay to help him improve each day.

Trumbo is ready to prove all the doubters in the national media and elsewhere that he is ready to be a solid defender and loves when other people doubt his ability. It gives him more motivation to prove them wrong. “I think you’ve got to have something that motivates you,” he said. “There’s no shortage of things that people seem to pick out that I do or don’t do. I think it’s good to play with a chip on your shoulder. To the guys out there that have those things to say, you can keep it up and we’ll turn it into something positive.”

So far this spring he has done just that. In the team’s first Spring Training game against the Dodgers at Salt River Fields he made two spectacular plays. Early in the game he made a head first diving catch on a line drive and then later in the fifth he made a sliding catch on a shallow line drive. Trumbo is just confident that he can handle left. “I go out there with confidence,” Trumbo said. “I expect to make the plays. Things like that are reassuring, sure. The more I can put into my memory bank, the more good plays, that just keeps building your confidence.” I think Trumbo will be just fine in left and become a solid defender and who knows he might win a Gold Glove. Isn’t that what people were saying about Goldy last year? He wouldn’t be able to make the plays at first and all he did was win a Gold Glove last season. The critics need to stop saying Mark Trumbo is a defensive liability.

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