With Spring Training coming to a close, I was fortunate enough to catch a couple of Angels’ games this past weekend. I wouldn’t make the normal trip to Tempe Diablo Stadium, however. This year, I ventured out to Maryvale and Surprise to watch the Angels take on the Brewers and the Rangers.
Last spring, I made my first trip out to Spring Training. Having been an Angel fan all my life, it’s crazy to think that I waited so long. Fortunately, being a student at Arizona State University, Spring Training is in my backyard. The state of Arizona has been buzzing with Spring Training news since mid-February and with Pujols making his way out to the desert this go around, I certainly wasn’t going to miss out.
Pujols didn’t play in either of the games that I went to, so I didn’t catch the largest offensive addition to the Angels in the history of Angles’ baseball. Thankfully, the team knew I was there and put on a show for me anyway.
For those of you who haven’t been able to attend Spring Training this year, the Angels look fantastic. With the hype surrounding the organization after their successful offseason, I had my doubts, simply because it seemed too good to be true. Let me tell you, I am rather impressed.
Mark Trumbo made the greatest impression on me this past weekend. I’ve always thought highly of him as a rookie who, with patience, would become one of the greatest hitters the Angels have had the pleasure of having in their line up. He continues to impress me. On Friday afternoon at Maryvale Baseball Stadium (home of the Brewers), Trumbo would face Francisco Rodriguez in the late innings. Good ol’ K-Rod. Trumbo reminded me of why I should be glad that K-Rod is no longer with the Angels as he proceeded to hit one of the hardest homeruns I’ve ever seen, directly over the fence in right center.
In addition to his offensive tear, Trumbo seems to be holding his own at third base. Whoever had their doubts about moving him to the opposite corner to make room for Pujols should reexamine this idea. Trumbo has committed three errors at third base thus far, but I cannot bring myself to question the idea of Trumbo playing a good amount of regular season games for the Angles at third. I dig it. I just do.
Now, of course, the Angels weren’t without their usual flaws. They are incredibly strong on the defensive end, but the offense is still where they find their struggles. Based on the two games I attended (not a lot to work with, but hang in there), execution seems to be a problem again. A great deal of Angels were left on the bases and it is mighty frustrating to see this multiple times a game. However, it’s only Spring Training and the guys have an entire season to make adjustments. Other than that, the Angels are a serious playoff contender.
Fans, good news: the dry spell is over.
Side note: Ryan Braun is going to have an incredibly rough season on the road. Holy name-calling.