Trumbo on projected debut (and other notes)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Mark Trumbo said he isn’t expecting to make his Grapefruit League debut this spring for a few more weeks, the process of recovering from September knee surgery continuing to play out.

Trumbo has intensified his workouts in spring training, but the Orioles are being careful with him.

“There’s going to be a few tests to pass before. A safe bet would probably be two weeks from now,” Trumbo said.

Trumbo-Slam-Orange-Atlanta-sidebar.jpg“We still haven’t totally ramped up. The full-speed sprint and kind of the breakdown will be, at least for me, one of the huge hurdles. And being able to repeat it a few times. Not just doing single reps.”

The Orioles can provide a sufficient amount of at-bats to get Trumbo ready for the March 28 opener at Yankee Stadium. Beyond playing in exhibition games, he also could bat leadoff in every inning in B games and minor league games at Twin Lakes Park.

“Ideally, I’d be in the game today, but I think, whether it’s two or three weeks from now, I can still accumulate 30 at-bats, 40 at-bats,” he said. “I’m not exactly sure how the math breaks down, but that would be nice. I think that’s a good number. Twenty-five to 30 usually at least gets you the feeling of being kind of in the game and in rhythm a little bit. If it’s 10-12, that’s not really that many.

“Ideally, I’d like to get 25 or more game at-bats and maybe on back-to-back days. If we’re going to kind of ramp up into the season, that would be my preference.”

Trumbo is entering the final season of his three-year deal after batting .261/.313/.452 with 12 doubles, 17 home runs and 44 RBIs over 90 games in 2018. He didn’t play after Aug. 19 in Cleveland and underwent surgery on his right knee Sept. 7 to repair a hole in the cartilage.

The procedure, known as “DeNovo,” is a juvenile cartilage implant from a donor that’s packed into the opening and requires time to harden.

* Stevie Wilkerson is starting at first base today, a position he hasn’t played in the majors. He’s made two starts among four appearances in the minors.

Wilkerson started one game at first base last summer at Double-A Bowie.

* David Hess is starting Sunday against the Blue Jays in Sarasota and Nate Karns starts Monday against the Twins in Fort Myers.

Also available to pitch Sunday are Dillon Tate, Gabriel Ynoa, Cody Carroll, Branden Kline, Tanner Scott and Sean Gilmartin.

The Jays are starting right-hander Sean Reid-Foley on Sunday and the Twins are starting right-hander José Berriós the following day.

* Today’s game airs on MASN and 105.7 The Fan.

Ed-Smith-Sunrise.jpgThe sun rises over Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota on the day of the O’s Grapefruit League opener.

FRobinson-Memorial-Scoreboard-Sarasota.jpgFrank Robinson’s No. 20 is memorialized at the Orioles’ spring home in Sarasota, Fla.

Ed-Smith-Stadium-Game-Ready.jpgWorkers put the finishing touches on Ed Smith Stadium before the Orioles host the Twins.

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