For a player the Orioles added via a waiver claim in May 2018, it was a milestone homer. A team finally gave Renato Núñez everyday playing time and he rewarded the 2019 Orioles with 30 homers and 89 RBIs.
Núñez is one of 19 players in the American League with 30 and 89.
And it was a big homer. A three-run shot off Boston’s Nathan Eovaldi that gave the O’s an early 3-0 lead. They would win 4-1 and Núñez drove in all four runs. He crushed the milestone shot with an exit velocity of 110.6 mph. The ball went 414 feet.
Núñez had been in a homer drought with just one in his last 27 games and 98 plate apperances. He tied a season-high with four RBIs and tied Trey Mancini for the team lead with 24 multi-RBI games.
Núñez seems to have a spot on the 2020 Orioles. They can use a player producing that kind of run production - especially one that will not even be arbitation eligible until after the 2021 season.
Sure they have several DH-corner infield types and Núñez is a below-average defender. But they are not likely to turn their back on a 30-homer player. He seems unlikely to bring too much back via a trade and Núñez is likely more valuable to the Orioles than another team right now that might be skeptical he can produce such power numbers again.
Is his role on the 2020 Orioles clearly defined? Not at all. Is he likely to be on the opening day 25-man roster? I think yes.
That was a classy goodbye: It’s probably not much of a surprise, but Mark Trumbo does not expect to return to the Orioles in 2020. He said as much last night during a live interview on MASN in the top of the second inning.
Gary Thorne asked Trumbo if there was any thought that he might return next year.
“I’m pretty sure this is going to be it,” said Trumbo. “I’d be surprised if it went the other way. I’ve really enjoyed my time here. The fans have been tremendous. The coaching staff and team has been tremendous and I’m going to have some great memories of being an Oriole.”
I had no idea that Trumbo was such a great teammate when he joined the club in 2016, but he proved to be that. Mancini told me often of Trumbo’s behind-the-scenes leadership and what his mentorship meant for him personally.
Trumbo’s body failed him and he didn’t get in a game this year until September, but even then he showed his young teammates something about dedication, work ethic and what it means to be a real pro.