05/30/11 10:25 PM ET
Trumbo getting a kick from newfound power
By Robert Falkoff / Special to MLB.com
Trumbo credits a mechanical adjustment for helping him with a recent power surge in which he has hit four homers in the last 11 games.
"I had a toe-tap thing going and I ditched that the other day in favor of a higher leg kick," Trumbo said. "That's what I used last year in Triple-A and I had kind of gotten away from it. I brought that back and it has helped me stay behind the ball a little better."
Trumbo said his leg kick is "similar" to the batting style of Toronto's Jose Bautista.
Gubicza will attend services for Splittorff
KANSAS CITY -- With the Angels playing in Kansas City early this week, television analyst Mark Gubicza will be able to attend the Tuesday funeral of former Royals teammate and close friend, Paul Splittorff, who died from melanoma last Wednesday.
Gubicza had no knowledge about Splittorff's condition when the two broadcasters spent some time together in early April as the Angels opened the season at Kauffman Stadium.
"We were joking around about making our annual hockey playoff bet," Gubicza said. "He was a big [NHL's Chicago] Blackhawks fan and I'm a [Philadelphia] Flyer fan. I had no idea the severity of how sick he was and, to his credit, no one else knew, either. He worked all the way through to the end."
Gubicza will pay final respects to a man Gubicza said was even a better person than player. Splittorff is Kansas City's all-time winningest pitcher with 166 victories.
"When I was brought up in 1984, Splitt used to have us over for barbecues and basketball in the backyard," Gubicza said. "We had a blast together. And over the years, I always asked him questions about his broadcasting. He always said the bottom line is that you have to be honest. If someone isn't doing well, you can't just sugarcoat it. Players understand that, and it's something I learned from Splitt.
"I used to go to church with him on Fridays. I followed in his footsteps on a lot of things and I'm going to be saying goodbye to a great friend and a mentor."
Gubicza came up to the Royals at a time when Splittorff's baseball career was winding down. But Splittorff was always eager to share his knowledge of the game with the young pitchers.
"You remember how great of a human being he was," Gubicza said.
The Angels continue to look for signs of progress from left-hander Scott Kazmir, who was rocked in his second Minor League rehab assignment on Sunday. Kazmir allowed 10 runs in the third inning for Triple-A Salt Lake and has now allowed 16 runs in four innings overall. Kazmir still has three weeks left on his rehab assignment.
Both Vernon Wells and Howard Kendrick worked out prior to Monday's game against the Royals and appear on track for quick returns. Kendrick (sore hamstring) could return to the lineup this weekend against the Yankees. Wells (sore right groin) hopes to play some time during the June 3-12 homestand.
After his two doubles on Monday, Bobby Abreu needs just one double to pass Todd Helton for 31st place on the Major League all-time list. Abreu now has 537 career doubles.
The Angels will be hoping for a June performance similar to what they accomplished last year. The Angels went 18-9 in June, 2010, for their best month of the season.
Robert Falkoff is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.