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Trumbo hopes to bring more than power to D-Backs

February 16, 2014

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — The Arizona Diamondbacks traded for Mark Trumbo for his power at the plate, and the slugger says he’s ready to provide some big swings for his new team.

He also thinks he can help out in other areas.

“I understand that’s why they brought me over, to hit a few home runs, drive in some runs,” Trumbo said after the team worked out on Sunday. “I look forward to the opportunity to improve my all-around game as well. The last thing you really want to be is a one-dimensional player.

“I’m going to have to prove a lot of people wrong, but it’s my intention to go out there and play hard and do that.”

Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt led the National League with 39 home runs last year, but no other player had more than 14 homers for the Diamondbacks.

So general manager Kevin Towers made adding a power hitter one of his top offseason priorities. He got Trumbo from the Los Angeles Angels in a three-team deal that cost Arizona two of its top young players, left-hander Tyler Skaggs and center fielder Adam Eaton.

In three full major league seasons, all with the Angels, Trumbo has 95 home runs and 284 RBIs. He set career highs with 34 homers and 100 RBIs last season. But his average dipped to .234 and he struck out 184 times.

By comparison, Goldschmidt hit .302 with 125 RBIs to go along with his 39 homers and 145 strikeouts.

Strikeouts are the norm for the kind of power hitter Trumbo is, and he should get more chances for home runs in hitter-friendly Chase Field. He played mostly first base or designated hitter for the Angels. But Arizona has a Gold Glove first baseman in Goldschmidt, so Trumbo will play left field.

Trumbo understands the doubts people have about him playing that position.

“I don’t have a problem with people saying that,” he said. “If your were to knock me at first base, I think I might come back at you a little bit because statistically it would show that I was pretty good over there. But obviously I don’t have a big track record in left so it’s going to be my job to go out there and prove to people that I can be a serviceable left fielder and contribute on that front too.”

Goldschmidt has his doubts about the philosophy of another power hitter adding some “protection” for him in the batting order.

“I just think you go up there and try to have the best at-bat you can,” he said. “The pitcher’s going to try to get the hitter out the best he can, it doesn’t matter who’s on deck for the most part. You have to prove yourself every day. ... For me it doesn’t really change anything.”

But he praised the addition of Trumbo.

“I think it’s going to be huge for our lineup,” he said. “Nobody wants to see him on deck or in the box. He hits home runs, he drives in runs. He’s got a proven track record. He’s going to help our lineup and help our team a lot. I couldn’t be more excited that he is here.”

Manager Kirk Gibson declined to speculate on how he will use Trumbo in the batting order.

Trumbo, who avoided arbitration by reaching a one-year, $4.8 million contract, said he has been impressed with the attitude in the team’s swanky spring training facility in north Scottsdale.

“It’s been first-class all the way, it really has,” he said. “A tremendous group of guys in here — very, very cohesive. That’s one thing that stuck out right away. The guys in here all get along and they care about each other all get along and they care about each other doing well. That’s a really positive thing for a new player coming in. You know everyone’s going to be pulling for you, and so far, so good.”

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