Cameron Maybin will be adjusting to more than just a new team this spring. Maybin, who was acquired from the Tigers in exchange for Minor League right-hander Victor Alcantara over the offseason, has spent most of his career as a center fielder but will now be charged with filling the Angels’ void in left field.
It’ll be unfamiliar territory for Maybin, who has not made an appearance in left since his rookie season with the Tigers in 2007.
“Getting reads, it’s different, and trying to get acclimated to not being able to see the whole field in front of you is different,” Maybin said Monday after the Angels’ first full-squad workout at Tempe Diablo Stadium. “In center field, you have the whole field in front of you, so it’s a little easier to anticipate sometimes. Playing left, I think you have to stay engaged a lot more into the game.”
Maybin said he plans on taking extra repetitions in the outfield this spring in order to get used to seeing balls come off the bat at different angles.
“I think with the work that I’ll get in this spring, I think it should be no problem,” Maybin said. “I’m already kind of feeling comfortable over there as far as when the ball comes your way, you go get it and you go catch it. So that still is the easy part. I won’t be naive and say it won’t be an adjustment. It’s definitely going to take some extra work and some patience, but I’m excited about it.”
Maybin, who turns 30 in April, batted .315 with an .801 OPS — both career highs — four home runs, 43 RBIs and 15 stolen bases over 94 games with the Tigers in 2016. Last year, he primarily batted second and established himself as a key force atop Detroit’s lineup. Maybin’s impact was tangible: The Tigers went 51-38 when he started and 34-9 when he scored a run.
— Angels (@Angels) February 19, 2017
Manager Mike Scioscia said he plans to continue to bat Mike Trout third and Albert Pujols fourth this year, but the rest of the batting order has not been settled and will likely depend on pitching matchups. The Angels are still deciding where Maybin will slot into their lineup, but he said he hopes he’ll have another opportunity to set the table for the offense.
“I’m hoping to lead the troops,” Maybin said. “I’m looking forward to hopefully being the spark plug and getting everything going.”
Maybin added that he’s also excited about playing alongside Trout in center field and Kole Calhoun in right.
“Just having those two guys out there with myself, I think it’s still going to be tough for a lot of balls to get down,” Maybin said. “I think it bodes well for what we have.”
By Maria Guardado