With a first-inning longball Saturday, Orioles right fielder Mark Trumbo has reached the 30-home run plateau three different seasons in his big league career: He hit 32 for the Los Angeles Angels in 2012, 34 for the Angels in 2013 and 30 so far for the Orioles this year.
Here are the primary stats you need to know about those three campaigns.
In 2012, Trumbo played in 144 games, had 544 at-bats and hit his 30th homer on Aug. 21.
In 2013, he played in 159 games, had 630 at-bats and hit his 30th on Sept. 6.
This year, he’s played in 96 games, has had 341 at-bats and hit his 30th homer Saturday – July 23. His first inning blast against Cleveland’s Josh Tomlin gave him 30 homers with 66 games to play.
It’s shaping up to be a career season in what has been a pretty good career for Trumbo. And he’s picked up where he left off in the first half – which was an important sign given that Trumbo traditionally is a better first half player (a .265 batting average and .514 slugging in first half versus a .241 average and .417 slugging in the second).
“We’re all about talking about how he does this in July, does this in June, does this in April. It’s almost August. So he’s putting together a year worthy of a lot of consideration,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “He’s been very valuable. He’s been a real consistent human being. He likes to compete. He doesn’t like to fail. It’s an honor to be around him.”
The Orioles have a chance to have the major league home run leader in four straight seasons. Chris Davis in 2013, Nelson Cruz in 2014, Davis in 2015 and now Trumbo, who is the first big leaguer to get to 30, in 2016.
When the Orioles traded Steve Clevenger to the Seattle Mariners for Trumbo this winter, everyone knew that Trumbo’s right-handed power could really play at Camden Yards.
But it has played everywhere. Trumbo now has 16 homers at Camden Yards in 184 at-bats and 14 on the road in 197 at-bats. So, yeah, he’s getting a little boost from the park effects here – but not a lot.
Here’s what Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona had to say about Trumbo on Saturday: “I think he wants to get something he can reach and whack it. I’m guessing that he’s in a good lineup, good ballpark and probably confident as hell. He’s so dangerous.”
Kim will be back soon
When reports surfaced Friday that the Orioles have had talks with the San Diego Padres about acquiring outfielder Melvin Upton Jr. – presumably for Ubaldo Jimenez and a prospect – the sense was that the Orioles desperately needed an outfielder with Joey Rickard (thumb) and Hyun Soo Kim (hamstring) on the DL.
With Rickard lost for four to six weeks, the Orioles certainly could use someone who could fill in at center if Adam Jones were injured or needed a rest. But Kim’s absence never really was a factor when it came to trade talk.
He wasn’t expected to be out long. And it doesn’t look like he will be.
He will play two games for Double-A Bowie on Sunday and Monday. If all goes well, he could be activated Tuesday, when he is first eligible to come off the DL.
That’s not to say the Orioles won’t look to upgrade the outfield if the right trade presents itself. But the outfield need isn’t as dire as some may suggest.
34 of 41 picks signed
The Orioles announced Saturday night that they had signed 34 of their 41 picks from the 2016 amateur draft. Seems like weird timing since the deadline was last week.
But the reason for the announcement now is that the club officially signed 13th rounder Brandon Bonilla, the son of former Oriole outfielder Bobby Bonilla. He agreed to a $100,000 signing bonus Friday.
Because Bonilla, a left-handed pitcher, was a fifth-year senior at Hawaii Pacific University, he was not subject to the signing deadline. The Orioles had until next year’s draft to finalize something with Bonilla, and now they’ve done that.
The highest pick the Orioles didn’t sign was 17th rounder Tyler Blohm, a lefty from Archbishop Spalding High School. He decided to accept a baseball scholarship from the University of Maryland instead.
Print your home playoff tickets
Just so you know: If the season ended today, the Orioles would be the No. 1 seed in the AL playoffs. They have the same record as the Indians now – both at 56-40 after the Orioles’ victory Saturday – but the Orioles have captured the season series, 4-1, with one game to play Sunday.
This may mean nothing in October. But the Indians look like they are going to be there given their lead in the AL Central. So having the head-to-head advantage against them may be important.