03/06/12 8:00 PM EST
Cantu determined to show what he can do
By Alden Gonzalez / MLB.com
The way Cantu looks at it, he has to. The veteran corner infielder, who signed a Minor League contract with the Angels in January, is really only two years removed from being a consistent run producer but now finds himself trying to find a place in the big leagues.
If a spring injury occurs to the Angels' infield, or Kendrys Morales starts the season on the disabled list, or a trade occurs, the 30-year-old Cantu could get the first crack at the Opening Day roster.
If none of that happens, Cantu feels he can help somebody else.
Cantu, who starred as a second baseman with the Rays in his early years, was a fixture in the middle of the Marlins' batting order for a couple of seasons, hitting 29 homers in '08 and driving in 100 runs in '09. But he struggled with the Marlins and Rangers in 2010, then batted just .194 in 57 games for the Padres last season.
This offseason, though, Cantu played well in the Mexican Winter League, batting .315 with nine homers and 22 RBIs in 26 games, and arrived a week early for Spring Training.
Cantu negotiated an opt-out in his contract for May 1. But he and his girlfriend are expecting a baby boy in June, so Cantu would prefer to know where he's going to spend the foreseeable future by the time the Angels break camp in early April.
And he's hoping it's not in the Minor Leagues.
"I've seen it a lot, guys who do great in Spring Training, and they cannot fit with the team, they trade them right away and they're superstars with that other team," Cantu said. "I never let that out of my mind because I know that can happen. But here it's just a day at a time, and I just have to get after it."
Trumbo's size complicates transition to third
TEMPE, Ariz. -- As a converted first baseman who stands 6-foot-4, Mark Trumbo will face two major challenges in his quest to become an adequate Major League third baseman -- slow rollers and balls hit to his left.
Slow rollers and bunts could be tough for somebody Trumbo's size, and first basemen hardly ever field grounders to their left-hand side.
Trumbo worked on mainly those two plays Tuesday, with bench coach Rob Picciolo hitting live fungos -- meaning he stands in the batter's box and hits soft tosses to simulate how a ball would come at him in a game -- and infield coach Alfredo Griffin in his ear.
"We're just trying to make him aware of the position," Griffin said. "We're not looking for anything right now, just trying to make him comfortable over there and get him used to the position. It's tough -- the guy's never played the position -- for you to try to tell him to do things right away without him knowing what he's doing."
As far as his running program, Trumbo is making cuts around the infield and should progress toward running the bases soon, in hopes of possibly getting into games by the end of this week.
"I feel perfect," Trumbo said Tuesday.
"I don't think he's that far behind," Angels manager Mike Scioscia added. "You want him to get a little bit under his legs before you're comfortable putting him in games on the offensive side. Right now on the defensive side, he's ready to get in games."
Walden letting fans suggest entrance music
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Jordan Walden isn't sure what should blare from the Angel Stadium speakers when he comes out for the ninth inning this season, so he's hoping the fans can help.
Via FOX Sports West, the Angels' second-year closer is using Facebook to get fans to list suggestions for his entrance music this year.
"It's something I really wanted to do because I really don't know," Walden said. "I was thinking to myself what I wanted to come up to, so I felt like it could be better if I had a list of songs."
Last year, for his first full season in the big leagues, Dan Haren picked a Rob Zombie song -- "Dragula" -- for Walden's walk-up music, and now Walden wants to switch it up. He likes hip-hop (Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, Eminem), and since he's from Texas, he has an affinity for country music (Tim McGraw, Zac Brown Band, Blake Shelton).
But Walden wants "something that's going to get me going and get the fans going," and he realizes some more heavy metal may be best for that.
"When one sticks, it sticks, I guess," said Walden, who isn't sure about any deadlines for suggestions. "I'm just looking for the right one. I want to see what the fans have to say, see what they can come up with."
Bobby Abreu, who was scratched from Monday's lineup because of flu-like symptoms, was back in the Angels' clubhouse Tuesday and said he felt better. Manager Mike Scioscia expects him to be in the lineup on Wednesday.
Albert Pujols has hit with a runner on base in four of his first six plate appearances with the Angels. He's 3-for-5 with two runs scored, two doubles, an RBI and a walk.
First-base umpire Chris Guccione left the game after the top of the seventh, when Trevor Bell's attempted pickoff throw caught him in the leg.
Vernon Wells, who finished 0-for-2 on Tuesday, has drawn walks in back-to-back games. He did that only once during the regular season last year -- June 8 and 10.
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.