TAMPA - Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said that Mark Trumbo will not necessarily have to play in the field to be on the active roster on opening day. Trumbo, who had right knee surgery in September, will make his spring training debut tomorrow in Sarasota when he serves as the designated hitter for the Orioles against Toronto.
“We’re going to give him a couple of at-bats tomorrow,” Hyde said before tonight’s game with the Yankees. “Hopefully, he comes out of the game feeling great and we’ll kind of reassess from there on his schedule for the next two weeks. Everything he’s been doing the last couple of weeks is phenomenal. He’s recovering great.”
Hyde expects Trumbo to take Thursday off. He doesn’t know if Trumbo will be fully ready to start the season March 28 at New York, but he won’t have to pass a test on defense to make that happen.
“Probably not. I don’t want to push him into the season or rush him into what he is not capable of doing or what is the right thing to do for his knee,” Hyde said. “Whether he breaks with us or comes with us a couple of weeks later or a month later, it’s all going to depend on how he is recovering. I’m not in a rush to commit to a day. I’m not worried about his results. Just want to see him out there and see how he recovers the next day. If we can break with him as our DH, that would be great, but I’m not relying on it.”
Hyde said catcher Austin Wynns, out since March 3 with a sore left oblique, may be playing in games next week.
“He’s improving,” Hyde said. “We ramped up his throwing a bit and he’s going to start hitting in, I want to say a handful of days, and then kind of go into a game progression from there.”
Chris Davis returned to the Orioles lineup tonight, batting third as the DH. Davis, who is 1-for-12 with a homer and seven strikeouts, has been out since March 3 with a sore left hip.
“The next two weeks, we need to get him into some at-bats,” Hyde said. “You can always make up at-bats in the minor league games. I want to get him as many at-bats as possible the next couple of weeks to get him ready for opening day.”
Hyde also reported that right-hander Alex Cobb’s next start will be in a spring game that won’t come until at least Saturday. He threw four innings in a simulated game on Sunday in Sarasota.
“We have a huge number of outfielders,” Hyde said. “We like DJ a lot. I love his style of play. He epitomizes what we are going to be about - his defense is important to him and he hustles. He had hustle doubles. Love his energy. We just feel like he needs more at-bats and more controlled at-bats and he was not going to get that here. Because he’s a prospect and we like him a lot we want him to get into an environment to get at-bats every day, break with Triple-A and play both corner spots.
“Diaz got a ton of playing time. There will not be the innings out there for him. Whether he goes to Triple-A or Double-A, I’m not really sure. Just get him more playing time now.”
The cuts included prospect Ryan Mountcastle, who Hyde said will continue to play both at third and first base on the farm this year.
“We see him playing both spots in the minors and continuing on a throwing program we put him on,” Hyde said, adding he thought the plan was for Mountcastle to split time between both positions pretty evenly. “I want to see him with some versatility and we don’t want to give up on the third base option. He made huge strides in his throwing the last two weeks. He was on a throwing program every day.”
Wright’s scoreless streak ends: After the Orioles took a 1-0 lead in the first, Wright’s run of 10 straight scoreless spring innings ended in the home first, which ended with New York leading 2-1. Wright walked leadoff batter Brett Gardner and Aaron Judge hit a two-run shot to right. But after allowing a pair of one-out singles, Wright got a double play ball to end that threat.
In the top of the first, center fielder Cedric Mullins led off by drawing an eight-pitch walk versus right-hander Jonathan Loaisiga. He moved up on Austin Hays’ bunt, stole third and then scored on a throwing error. In his first at-bat since March 3, Chris Davis struck out on three pitches and is now 1-for-13.
The Orioles tied it at 2-2 in the second on three straight singles from Stevie Wilkerson, Rio Ruiz and Eric Young Jr. Young’s third RBI of the spring evened the game. They went on to score five runs that inning to lead 6-2. A few batters after Young’s single, Hays took a 96 mph fastball to right with the bases loaded for a three-run double. He has 10 RBIs to tie Chance Sisco for the club lead. Then Davis followed with a single to left off a high fastball and the O’s went ahead by four runs.
Means enters: Lefty John Means, who has thrown five scoreless innings his last two games, replaced Wright and got the last out of the third with the O’s ahead 6-2. Wright went 2 2/3 innings, allowing six hits and two runs, and has an ERA of 1.42 through five spring games. Former Oriole Zack Britton has thrown the last two innings without allowing a run for the Yankees.