Showalter on Trumbo, Rasmus, bench and more (O’s up 5-3)

With Mark Trumbo rejoining the Orioles after one game at Double-A Bowie, his rehab assignment is now delayed but not denied. He’s going to report to an affiliate at a later date.

Trumbo served as the designated hitter last night with the Baysox while recovering from a Grade 2 strain of his right quadriceps muscle. The discomfort didn’t return last night, but Trumbo apparently isn’t ready to go at full speed and risk a blowout.

The Orioles will take Trumbo to Boston and monitor his workouts.

mark-trumbo-orange-bat.png“We’re trying to be careful with it, so we’ll stop that clock, so to speak, that started yesterday and keep him with us instead of sending him back to Sarasota,” Showalter said. “Such a nice, spacious area to treat people in Boston, thought we’d take advantage of that.”

Sarcasm at its finest.

“I don’t want to say the weather had anything to do with it,” Showalter said. “He just didn’t feel ... First time you get underneath the lights and you’re playing in a real game - not that he wasn’t somewhat down there, but it was 12 o’clock extended spring game against Alex Cobb and all of a sudden ...

“He was upset that he thought he cost one of the kids a base hit because he couldn’t quite beat out a, first to second, guy hit a ball in the hole. He said, ‘I cost one of those kids a hit because I didn’t want to push it and bust it.’ So, we said we were going to lean on Mark on this and I applaud him for being frank with us. We’re just going to slow it down a little bit. As far as when he’d go back out and start again, let’s see how Boston goes.”

Trumbo returned for one spring training game before aggravating the injury and undergoing an MRI. One game in the Eastern League again has halted him.

“I think it just reminds you how different games are,” Showalter said. “You can do all you want to ... And that’s why it’s tough sometimes in the spring with some of those sim games on the back fields. There’s just a different level you play out.

“I think Mark understands that. And he’s had some prior experience with this and I know sits around and does research on people with similar injuries. Said all along we wanted to get him right the first time and we’re going to follow down that road.”

The MRI news on Colby Rasmus was good. He’s on the disabled list with a strained left hip flexor strain, but the club wasn’t surprised by yesterday’s test results.

“What we thought,” Showalter said, “and should manage well.”

Infielder Engelb Vielma’s arrival today from Triple-A Norfolk gives the Orioles a four-man bench that they’d like to sustain.

“In a perfect world,” Showalter said. “I’m hoping after the off-day that we kind of settle in, but we’re always going to err on the side of keeping the health of our pitchers. I’m hoping when Alex (Cobb) gets here and everybody kind of settles in and we get into what we hope is a strength is some consistent depth of some starts, that we’ll be able to do that.

“That’s what drives it. You can carry a seven-man bullpen if your starters are consistently getting to the fifth inning and beyond. Really about four out of five.”

The Orioles have scored seven runs in their five home games. Their .208 average this season ranks 29th in the majors. The Indians are last at .158.

“I’m big about trying to give the other team credit and the pitcher credit, but I’m kind of tired of giving them credit,” Showalter said. “We’re going to have to beat them, too.”

Toronto’s Marco Estrada presents the latest challenge as teams keep rolling out quality starters against the Orioles.

Left-handers are 2-for-22 against Estrada this season and they own a career .216 average against him, while right-handers are batting .247.

“He’s a complete reverse-split. He’s one of the top reverse-split guys in baseball,” Showalter said.

“It’s the changeup. It’s like when the agent says it’s not really about the money, it’s about the money. It’s about the changeup. Some people consider it an average to below-average fastball. It’s actually an above-average fastball with his changeup. It looks like it’s 100 mph.

“He’s got great arm speed. You have to be extremely disciplined to have success off him because everything looks so inviting. And these guys are taught to hit. It’s hit, hit, hit until you take. You can talk until you’re blue in the face, but the recognition of the changeup is not a slowing down of the arm, there’s not a different angle, there’s not something different they do with their glove. It’s a fastball until about three feet in front of the plate, and then somebody takes a yo-yo and pulls it away from you. And then you try to get into take mode where it’s not really a strike and he’ll throw three straight fastballs in a row.”

Update: Kevin Gausman threw 26 pitches in the first inning and surrendered a run on Kevin Pillar’s two-out single. He allowed two hits and walked a batter.

Pillar is 12-for-26 lifetime against Gausman.

Here are the starters for the series in Boston:

Friday: Chris Tillman vs. Eduardo Rodriguez

Saturday: Alex Cobb vs. Hector Velázquez

Sunday: Dylan Bundy vs. Chris Sale

Monday: Andrew Cashner vs. David Price

The Orioles will see three left-handers instead of the anticipated four.

Update II: The Orioles erupted for three runs in the fourth inning to lead 3-1. Manny Machado led off with a double for the club’s first hit and he scored on Jonathan Schoop’s double that ended a 1-for-25 skid. Chris Davis lined an RBI single to right and Tim Beckham followed with a sacrifice fly.

Update III: Gausman allowed a run in the top of the fifth, but the Orioles answered it in the bottom half with Schoop’s bases-loaded single with no outs that increased the lead to 4-2. Danny Barnes replaced Estrada and the Orioles failed to pad their margin.

Update IV: Aledmys Diaz homered with two outs in the sixth and the Orioles lead 4-3.

Update V: Chance Sisco’s RBI single in the bottom of the sixth increased the lead to 5-3. Beckham led off with an infield hit.

Gausman allowed three runs and six hits in six innings, with three walks, six strikeouts and a home run. He was done after 106 pitches.

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