Kendrys, Trumbo likely to be in opening lineup

Kendrys, Trumbo likely to be in opening lineup

ANAHEIM -- Angels manager Mike Scioscia remained coy about the Opening Day lineup he'd trot out on Friday night against Royals lefty Bruce Chen. But there's a good chance Mark Trumbo and Kendrys Morales -- the former first basemen who have had to make some changes now that Albert Pujols is on board -- will both be in it.

Scioscia reiterated during Thursday's workout that he'd like Morales to hit cleanup against righties and bat lower in the lineup -- at least initially -- against lefties. When the slugging switch-hitter does get a day off, it'd come against a lefty, but the likely scenario -- one unconfirmed by Scioscia -- is for Morales' day off to come in Sunday's series finale, when the Royals throw another southpaw in Jonathan Sanchez.

If Morales does make his way toward the batter's box on Friday, it'll mark his first regular-season at-bat since that fateful May 29, 2010, game in which he suffered a broken left ankle on a walk-off grand slam.

It would also mark the end of what has been a long, twisted, frustrating recovery.

"We feel good for Kendrys, because we know what a struggle it's been for him," Scioscia said. "To see him come back and just to be playing baseball again -- hopefully at the same level he was in '09 -- is important for us, obviously. It's his career, and we hope he gets back on track to where he was moving towards."

For Trumbo, it'll mark the end of what can for the most part be deemed a successful Spring Training at his new position of third base.

Trumbo did commit a team-high four errors at the hot corner and struggled a bit in the just-completed Freeway Series, awkwardly charging a Juan Rivera chopper and making an errant throw to first base on Monday -- though it was ruled an infield single -- and bobbling a grounder hit slightly to his right on Wednesday.

But he and the coaches have been satisfied with the progress he's made there over the last month.

With Jered Weaver, a fly-ball pitcher, on the mound for the Angels and a lefty taking the bump for the Royals, Friday is the ideal time for Trumbo to start at third.

"Overall, Mark is still a work in progress out there," Scioscia said. "But his ability to make the routine plays, we're comfortable with that."