Trumbo out of lineup with back spasms
O’Day closer to return; Drake takes advantage of new roles in bullpen
Orioles outfielder-designated hitter Mark Trumbo, the major league home run leader at 42 entering Friday, was out of the lineup for just the second time this season with back spasms.
“Trumbo came in with some back spasms — something he has, he told me, a couple times a year,” manager Buck Showalter said. “They manage pretty quickly. Hopefully, that’ll manage by game time and he’ll be available to us. That’s the way I will present it. We’ll see what happens.”
Trumbo, who is batting .248 with a team-high 100 RBIs in what has been a renaissance season for the slugging corner man, didn’t play Friday night. He joins a growing list of injured Orioles outfielders who are testing the club’s depth at a time when it is fortunate to have an expanded roster to cover for it.
The Orioles were hoping to have rookie Joey Rickard (torn thumb ligament) back by now, but Showalter said he’s looking increasingly unlikely to hit his Monday eligibility date to come off the 60-day disabled list.
“Rickard started facing live pitching [Friday], and it did not go well,” Showalter said. “We’ll see how he feels later on. He took one or two swings, then went in. That kind of plays into whether or not we need to [do something]. We thought he might be with us Monday, but it’s not looking like that’s going to happen. With him, Steve Pearce, now Trumbo, we may have to go grab somebody.”
Pearce, who was acquired at the nonwaiver trade deadline from the Tampa Bay Rays, had a platelet-rich plasma injection on his right elbow Wednesday and is shut down for at least a week.
In the interim, the injuries mean more consistent playing time for Hyun Soo Kim and Michael Bourn, plus designated hitter Pedro Alvarez. All three were in Friday’s lineup, though Showalter will likely use his expanded bench to find every platoon advantage available.
“Kim was going to play [Friday] anyway,” Showalter said. “He was in left field, and probably play [tonight]. We’re not that far down. We’ll see what we’re going to do Sunday with [Jake] Odorizzi. But it’s a lot easier with a 40-man roster, I’ll tell you that. This isn’t a DL-able injury, so we’d be playing short like we’ve done quite often this year.” O’Day return looming: Reliever Darren O’Day (strained right rotator cuff ) had a second simulated game Friday, throwing 26 pitches and coming through feeling well, Showalter said.
“He’ll take tomorrow and provided he feels OK, we’ll make a decision on Sunday or Monday,” Showalter said. “He threw around 25, 26 pitches today. He felt pretty good, and we’ll see what tomorrow brings. If we have a problem there, we’ll make a decision on Sunday or Monday. We’ve got the day game Sunday, so I don’t know if that’ll figure into the decision or not.”
Showalter said the club would like to ease O’Day back but that that’s not always possible. Drake using opportunity: September roster expansion has created plenty of new roles for pitchers in the Orioles bullpen, and none have taken advantage more than Oliver Drake.
With two scoreless innings Thursday, Drake has struck out 11 in 72⁄ innings while allowing two runs on three hits in five appearances since his Aug. 28 call-up, capitalizing on an award-winning minor league season and turning it into success with the Orioles.
“It’s just being consistent each outing out there,” Drake said. “There’s been other times when I’ve come up and done well one outing, then I start to struggle and struggle, then done well. It’s nice to have a stretch right now where I’m going out there and I consistently feel like I’m throwing the ball pretty well.” Around the horn: Showalter confirmed that left-hander Wade Miley will start Sunday in the series finale against the Rays. … The Orioles named left-hander Donnie Hart the Jim Palmer Minor League Pitcher of the Year and named catcher Chance Sisco the Brooks Robinson Minor League Player of the Year. Third baseman Drew Dosch won the Elrod Hendricks Minor League Community Service Award. They will be honored tonight at Camden Yards.
Starters: R. Sox’s Porcello (20-4, 3.12) or TBA vs. Dylan Bundy (9-5, 3.88) or TBA