03/10/12 8:13 PM ET
Wilson dabbles with changeup in strong stint
By Alden Gonzalez / MLB.com
Perhaps most important at this point, though, the recently signed starter continued to work on integrating his changeup.
Wilson has always had the changeup in his back pocket, but the 31-year-old wants to mix it in more frequently this season and is using the Cactus League as a testing ground. Wilson, who gave up only a walk and an infield single in his three-inning outing, estimates that about seven or eight of his 41 pitches were changeups.
For a guy who used it less than 7 percent of the time last year, that's a big step.
"Just like everything else in baseball, it's repetition," said Wilson, who nicked his left hand while reaching out to try to field the infield single, but stayed in the game and felt fine after being checked out. "The more times you throw it, the better you get at it. The better you get at it, the more feel you have for it and when you can use it."
Jered Weaver (right-handed and 6-foot-7) and Wilson (left-handed and listed at 6-foot-1) don't have much in common physically. But Wilson is hoping to pick up a couple of things from Weaver -- the changeup and the pinpoint control.
"That's been the knock on me, really for the last few years," said Wilson, who has issued 3.5 walks per nine innings in his two years as a starter. "I'm getting better at it, but a lot of that has to do with the fact that I go deep in the count and maybe try to strike too many guys out. So today, I was getting changeups, groundouts, and that's what I'm trying to do, try to get guys out in two to three pitches, and the hitters on the other team were very cooperative with that today."
Trumbo gets taste of action at third base
TEMPE, Ariz. -- It won't always be this dramatic, or even this successful, but Mark Trumbo got a cool start at the hot corner Saturday. His first-ever play in a real game at third base: a diving catch on a line drive to his left to rob a hit from the Giants' Joaquin Arias in the second.
As the transitioning first baseman would say later, "They don't call it the hot corner for nothing."
Trumbo continues to learn that.
It began with nice-and-easy infield practice throughout the offseason and into the early part of Spring Training, continued with much tougher plays once the stress fracture in his right foot healed up, progressed to three innings of in-game defense -- and no ball hit near him -- on Wednesday, and on Saturday afternoon at Tempe Diablo Stadium finally reached full game mode.
Then, with a fifth-inning two-run homer that traveled way over the fence in left-center field, Trumbo showed why the Angels are using such creative methods to get his bat in the lineup.
"He killed that ball," manager Mike Scioscia said after an eventual 9-5 win.
But the Angels already know Trumbo can slug. It's third base that he needs to adjust to. Besides the line drive, Trumbo cleanly fielded a chopper in the third and was all the way back when Justin Christian dropped a bunt single in the fifth, Trumbo's final inning of action.
Not much. But enough to start feeling like a third baseman?
"I guess so," said Trumbo, who will travel to Goodyear, Ariz., for the Angels' split-squad game against the Reds on Sunday. "I think it might be more so if I get some very challenging plays. If I'm able to make those, I think it'll help my confidence. Right now I can make the routine play. It's positioning and knowing when to play in on guys. Some of that stuff's going to take a little while, but I'm doing the best I can to pick it up."
And now that he's out there, the challenge can begin for Scioscia, who will eventually juggle Trumbo at both infield corners, both outfield corners and the designated-hitter spot.
"How the breakdown is -- tough to say right now," Scioscia said. "But I think there will be enough playing time for Mark to contribute offensively."
Segura seamlessly shifting back to shortstop
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Jean Segura got a bit of a late jump on baseball's most demanding position.
But so far this spring, it's tough to notice.
Segura has appeared in four Cactus League games -- checking in normally in the later innings -- and has gone 3-for-6 with a couple of walks. Most noticeably, though, he's played a mean shortstop, showing off his cannon arm, making the routine play and even turning in a couple of dazzling ones on hard-hit short-hops.
The 21-year-old Segura played shortstop for most of his young life, but the Angels moved him to second base after signing him out of the Dominican Republic in 2007. Four seasons later, they moved him back to his natural position for the start of 2011.
"I was very happy because that's a position I like," Segura said in Spanish. "Even though you have more responsibilities, it makes you a better player because you always have to be aware. You're the captain of the infield."
A torn hamstring limited him to 52 Minor League games last year, so Segura didn't get as many reps at shortstop as he would've liked. But he got 23 additional games while playing in the Arizona Fall League, and this spring, he's worked closely with field coordinator and longtime shortstop Gary DiSarcina.
Extension talks with free-agent-to-be Erick Aybar are currently stalled, and Segura may be the Angels' shortstop of the future if Aybar eventually leaves via the open market. First, though, Segura needs a solid (and healthy) 2012, which will begin in Double-A.
At the very least, he's off to a good start.
"He's athletic and he's having a great Spring Training," Scioscia said. "On the practice field, too. He's really been impressive."
Bobby Wilson, the Angels' potential backup catcher this year, felt some tightness in a quadriceps muscle after a fifth-inning stolen base Saturday and was removed for a pinch-runner. He's currently listed as day to day.
Kendrys Morales (broken left ankle) had somewhat of a day off from his running program Saturday, running on an indoor treadmill instead. The recovering slugger expects to run around the bases at some point in the next two days in hopes of getting in games either next week or a few days after that.
As for what's making him more confident he'll be able to play this year, after all the setbacks of last spring?
"I've been recovering well up to now," Morales said in Spanish. "I'm on a good pace. Every day, I feel better. Nothing gets swollen. Anything that had bothered me in my ankle has gone away, and I'm confident I'll play this season."
Reliever Bobby Cassevah said he came into camp with some tightness in his right (pitching) shoulder. Cassevah, who missed 17 games with shoulder inflammation last April, expects to pitch in his first bullpen session Sunday and doesn't believe he'll need more than two or three sessions before he's ready to get into his first Spring Training game.
Catcher Chris Iannetta, infielders Alberto Callaspo and Mark Trumbo, and outfielders Bobby Abreu and Peter Bourjos will be among those traveling to Goodyear, Ariz., for the Angels' split-squad game against the Reds.
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.