KANSAS CITY -- Mark Trumbo, making his first Opening Day appearance as a starter in the Angels' lineup, batting seventh, liked the feel of his stroke as Spring Training wrapped up in Southern California after he crushed balls for five weeks in Arizona.
"The timing's there," Trumbo said, gearing up for the challenge of facing right-hander Luke Hochevar and the Royals at Kauffman Stadium on Thursday. "That's the most important thing for me. I've been hitting some balls hard to right and right-center, which tells me it is where I want it to be.
"I need to stay behind the ball for what I do. Right-center was always my power field coming up. But pitchers didn't want me to get extended, and they started coming in on my hands. I never think pulling [the ball] at all -- always middle of the field. I'm reacting to it in good position when I'm driving the ball through the middle."
Trumbo batted .297 in 74 at-bats this spring with a .662 slugging mark, exceeded among regulars only by Torii Hunter's .689. Trumbo had team highs with nine doubles, six homers and 20 RBIs.
"It's exciting to be part of this," Trumbo said. "On the flight here I was looking at a whole section of guys on the plane who came up through the organization together. That's a good feeling, being around guys you know so well.
"It's also comforting having guys around you like Bobby Abreu and Torii Hunter and Vernon Wells, with all their experience. You can learn a lot just by observing them."