SARASOTA, Fla. - Mark Trumbo will begin the 2019 season on the injured list, opening up a roster spot and delaying the veteran’s return from September knee surgery.
Trumbo is excluded from both split-squad lineups this afternoon and manager Brandon Hyde confirmed the decision to put him on the newly named IL.
“Trum’s not going to break with us,” said manager Brandon Hyde. “We’re just going to give him some more time. We’re going to let him continue to do his rehab down here.
“I give him so much credit for everything he’s done during his whole rehab process. Really give him a ton of credit for trying to come back from a tough injury earlier than anybody has, but it’s the right thing for him, for us, for everybody is for him to ...
“Like I’ve said many times, I want Mark to be Mark Trumbo, I want Mark to be healthy when he joins us and I don’t want a lesser version. And it’s not fair to him. So we’re just trying to get him as healthy as we possibly can before he joins us at some point this year.”
Trumbo underwent a complicated procedure to plug a hole in the cartilage in his right knee. He was used only as the designated hitter in camp and collected two hits in 12 at-bats.
There haven’t been any setbacks with Trumbo, who’s in the final year of his contract. It’s just too soon to get him back at full strength and running freely.
“He’s just not ready to play,” Hyde said. “He doesn’t feel well enough to be at his best and we want him to be at his best.”
Trumbo will stay back at Twin Lakes Park while the Orioles break camp, the second season in a row that’s began with him on the disabled/injured list. He had a strained right quadriceps muscle last spring.
Hyde can rotate players at designated hitter. Renato Núñez, with his sore right biceps, could make the club for his bat. Chris Davis and Trey Mancini could be slotted into it. There are lots of moving parts.
“It clears up some things. It doesn’t clear up everything,” Hyde said.
“We’re still in a 13, 12 pitchers situation, we’re still 13, 12 position players, determining all that. What happened to Alex (Cobb) last night. There’s a lot of things that might change.
“I think I’ll be creative with (DH) with quite a few guys depending on the starting pitcher that night. I think we have a lot of moveable pieces and so I think we’re just going to be creative with our DH.”
Cobb reported this morning that he’s feeling better after leaving last night’s start with a groin strain, but the Orioles are making contingency plans in case he isn’t ready for opening day.
“We’re still waiting for him to do some exercises and some things to determine what’s going to happen,” Hyde said. “I just have no idea at this point.”
Andrew Cashner will be limited to two innings today against the Pirates in order to keep him available for Thursday’s game in the Bronx.
Dylan Bundy won’t have his start adjusted on Monday.
The Orioles could open the year with Trumbo, Cobb, Núñez and catcher Austin Wynns on the IL. Again, lots of moving parts, lots of possibilities.
“Wynns is in the same boat as a lot of the catchers where we’re still not sure,” Hyde said. “There’s so many balls in the air right now in our catching situation that I don’t know. A lot of stuff we’ll determine in the next 48 hours with your 40-man roster, if you add a guy you’ve got to take a guy off, all these things that are going to happen.
“Our catching situation is up in the air.”
Infielder Jace Peterson has been reassigned to minor league camp, leaving 33 players on the major league side. Peterson was scratched from the Sarasota lineup and he took batting practice before heading out.
“He’s been playing a ton and I just wanted to give him a blow and give him a day off,” Hyde said. “He got hit twice last night and I just wanted to give him a breather today. But we did send him out this morning.”
Peterson joins reliever Evan Phillips, who was optioned today despite tossing 9 2/3 scoreless innings.
“Just kind of ran into a numbers game,” Hyde said. “Obviously he had a great camp. Threw really well last night. Last night I thought was his best appearance going two strong innings, up to 96. But you can only take 25 guys with you.
“He’s going to be a big part of our team at some point this year. That might be early, that might be later. I don’t know. But he’s just not going to break with us.”
“He’s 24 years old and we think really highly of him, so we’re going to do what we feel like is best for him,” Hyde said. “For him it’s going to be, at this point standing here right now, is to go down and get some appearances in Triple-A and then join us hopefully soon.”
Update: Jung Ho Kang, who hit a walk-off grand slam against the Orioles in Bradenton, homered off Cashner in the first inning to give the Pirates a 1-0 lead.