More Machado, delving into draft and talking to Trumbo

Today may bring word of Manny Machado's suspension for his part in Tuesday night's brawl.

Actually, the news release from Major League Baseball couldn't be summed up in one word. It would have to include the length of the suspension, mention of an "undisclosed fine" and a reminder of his actions, including how he charged the mound and threw a punch at Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura.

The Orioles are the losers here despite sweeping the Royals.

Any suspension is going to take away an everyday player who excels at the plate and in the field, a player who's replacing injured shortstop J.J. Hardy. Ventura will miss one or two starts. He's carrying a 5.32 ERA and frustrating his teammates. A suspension will be doing the Royals a favor.

Manny Machado back gray.jpg

They may appeal in an attempt to lengthen it.

The First-Year Player Draft begins tonight with the first two rounds and lottery rounds A and B. The Orioles will make the 27th and 54th selections and are expected to take a pitcher or position player from high school or college.

There's the extent of my analysis.

OK, if you're going to press me, I'll guess that they go for a college arm with the first pick. They want and need to stock up on pitching.

One possibility is Kent State left-hander Eric Lauer, the Mid-American Conference Pitcher of the Year, Collegiate Baseball's National Player of the Year and an Academic All-American. He allowed eight earned runs in 104 innings for a 0.69 ERA.

The Orioles really like University of Maryland right-hander Mike Shawaryn, rated by Baseball America as the No. 77 prospect. Let's see whether they nab him later in the draft.

Mark Trumbo made his first start at first base last night since Sept. 23, 2015. He was fine in the field, but he struck out four times, which he hadn't done since Sept. 17, 2014.

Chris Davis sat out last night's game and is day-to-day with ... we're really not sure. The thumb has bothered him since the April series at Tropicana Field, which explains the huge ice wrap in the clubhouse. There's also something else, which manager Buck Showalter referenced yesterday when he said, "a couple things."

The brawl may not have been the cause, but it must be a factor for Davis to sit last night against right-hander Edinson Volquez. He's dinged up. Put it on the injury report.

Despite his 0-for-4 last night, Trumbo is batting .294/.346/.610 with 10 doubles, 20 home runs and 48 RBIs.

"I keep the same routine every day," he said. "Try not to delve into the numbers too much. I guess I'm aware that things are going all right, but we're in the early part of June, so there's a heck of a lot of season and it's going to take everyone's best efforts to stay at the top."

Trumbo ranks fourth among American League outfielders in the All-Star voting. He was named the league's co-Player of the Week on April 18.

"It's nice," he said. "I think the crowd and the support of the fans here in Baltimore is the biggest thing. We definitely see it and really appreciate it. I guess if the quality of your work out there is good enough, you're going to get those awards and what-not. But when you put that stuff first it can become a distraction and I think your play can go the other way, so if you can really hone in on the day-to-day stuff it makes the other things that come your way a little bit easier."

It's not getting any easier for the Orioles with Machado facing a suspension and Hardy joined on the disabled list by starter Yovani Gallardo, reliever Darren O'Day and catcher Caleb Joseph. But they're still in first place in the American League East.

"I think we've dealt with it so far," Trumbo said. "You never want that to happen, but it's kind of inevitable throughout the course of the year that maybe one or two of you premiere players might spend some time on the shelf. But I think everyone's contributed and some guys have really picked up their game recently and I think we're going to absorb whatever we need to and just keep moving."


Trumbo already knew that the Orioles were a cohesive unit. He heard stories about their comradery before the trade. The brawl only reinforced it.

"It's excellent," he said. "I think everyone said it, but this is one of the best clubhouses you could hope for. The assortment of guys in here, we have a great mix and it makes it really enjoyable to come to the park every day.

"I think that we have a good thing going so far. Something like this obviously everyone got involved and showed their support. Obviously, it wasn't exactly the type of situation we were looking for, but nevertheless I think it can bring you together a little bit more."

Trumbo understands Machado's reaction to Ventura, how he took exception to a couple of inside pitches in the second inning before getting drilled in the fifth. But he also warns that "pitchers are always going to pitch inside."

"It shouldn't be any surprise generally, but there's kind of an unwritten law if people are buzzing your tower and coming up and in repeatedly, it can make it kind of challenging. But you understand that's part of the game, too," Trumbo said. "As long as it's part of the normal day-to-day stuff, it's not out of the ordinary."

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