Why Trumbo's addition makes sense; schedule easing up; Williams' Orioles debut - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Why Trumbo’s addition makes sense; schedule easing up; Williams’ Orioles debut

Photo Credit: Joy R. Absalon

The Orioles’ decision to activate Mark Trumbo drew a fair amount of criticism from fans on social media. It shouldn’t have.

Trumbo, who has gallantly rehabbed his right knee after undergoing surgery a year ago, is someone fans should embrace.

Instead, some fans have said the Orioles should have used his roster spot for someone else, notably Ryan Mountcastle, who wasn’t called up after Norfolk’s season ended Monday.

When manager Brandon Hyde said that Chris Davis’ playing time would be reduced in order to see younger players, many took that as an indication that the Orioles would be adding Mountcastle for September.

Oriole fans will get to see plenty of Mountcastle once his major league career begins, probably sometime next spring. Although it would have been fun to see Mountcastle and Austin Hays this month, the reasons for not promoting them are sound.

Hays, who has had two consecutive seasons marred by injuries, will go to the Arizona Fall League for regular at-bats.

Mountcastle does need better plate discipline. Although he had an outstanding OPS of .871, his on-base percentage was .344. His batting average of .312 was fine, but the 24 walks to 130 strikeouts in 127 games wasn’t.

A year ago in Bowie, Mountcastle showed some improvement in selectivity when he walked 26 times in 102 games.

Seven years ago, when the Orioles contemplated a promotion for a teenaged Dylan Bundy from Bowie, former manager Buck Showalter warned about his control. “Four walks in Bowie is more walks here.”

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Bundy did get a temporary promotion that year, but Showalter’s cautionary words can be used about Mountcastle.

Showalter created something of a stir in 2018 when he warned Mountcastle publicly that he had to draw more walks if he wanted to be a successful major league player.

Whether it was wise to share that critique publicly, it was sound advice.

However, it might have been nice to pair Mountcastle with Trumbo on the Orioles this month, even if Mountcastle’s appearances were irregular just so he can watch the veteran’s preparation.

Last month, Trumbo reiterated his desire to play in September. He pointed out that he was being paid well ($13.5 million this year), and he’d like to earn some of the money.

He also said he’d like to show that he’s capable of playing in 2020.

Trumbo’s honesty seemed to annoy some fans, who would have preferred that he quietly disappear, but he shouldn’t.

He had to halt his rehab late in spring training, and twice more during the season. Trumbo could have easily have begged off, and said he wasn’t well enough to play.

But he didn’t, and having him around the Orioles is a good thing. It’s not inconceivable that a few years from now, when a player on the team is asked about positive influences in his early career, he’ll point to Trumbo.

Hyde has found the 33-year-old Trumbo to be helpful and a mentor to younger players. His perseverance in rehabbing the knee is a valuable teaching tool, and that shouldn’t be discounted as an integral part of team-building.

Schedule eases up: With the Orioles ‘next victory, they’ll equal their win total of 2018 when they were 47-115. They have 23 games left, and only six games against teams with legitimate playoff hopes.

They’ll play three against the Los Angeles Dodgers from September 10-12. The Dodgers are nearing the Western Division title, and it’s conceivable they’ll clinch while in Baltimore next week.

The Orioles close the season with three games against Boston at Fenway Park. The Red Sox are on the periphery of the wild-card race, but it’s possible those final three games won’t be relevant to Boston.

Of the remaining 17 games, all are against teams with records below .500. Six are against Toronto, four each with Texas and Detroit, and three with Seattle.

They should handily improve on last season’s record.

Williams makes Orioles debut: For weeks, a number of Oriole fans were asking why the team hadn’t added centerfielder Mason Williams to the roster.

They finally did on Tuesday and they designated infielder Jace Peterson to make room for him on the 40-man roster.

Williams was 2-for-4 in the Orioles’ 4-2 win over Tampa Bay in the first game of the doubleheader and hitless in four at-bats in the 2-0 second-game loss.

He was the 57th player used by the Orioles, a team record.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

21 Comments

21 Comments

  1. CalsPals

    September 4, 2019 at 7:45 am

    Taking the high road…go O’s…

  2. Orial

    September 4, 2019 at 8:04 am

    In an era of ” me first” athletes,especially in the NFL,an aw-shucks/modest type like Trumbo is refreshing. I have nothing against him being here. Hes a gentleman. It is amazing how a person can be an MVP of any league but yet not ready for a promotion, but ya know what?—he’s not ready. I like Mason Williams being called up,now put Stevie playing utility(if anything).

    • Camden Brooks

      September 4, 2019 at 9:36 am

      Agree 100%.

    • CalsPals

      September 4, 2019 at 11:07 am

      He’s a great guy, I just don’t think the O’s owe him anything, he has been paid handsomely, by playing him they are almost contradicting their own managers statements that we have many young guys we want to see get time & at bats, doesn’t make sense…go O’s…

  3. Boog Robinson Robinson

    September 4, 2019 at 8:23 am

    Here is to a few more Jumbos. I don’t know why a lot of my friends around here don’t like this guy. All he did was hit, drive in runs and play whatever position the team asked of him without complaint. Is it the money? Frankly, had he remained healthy, I’m thinking his was a rather team-friendly contract if you consider today’s market.

    • Jbigle1

      September 4, 2019 at 11:06 am

      13 per for Trumbo wasn’t team friendly by any stretch of the imagination. If you consider today’s market, older defensively limited corner players get paid way less than ever. Pay attention to what guys like Jose Abreu and Avisail Garcia get this winter. It’ll be way way less than the deal we gave Trumbo. Abreu is a better player as well.

      But there’s no reason to hate on him. He played hard, he didn’t turn into CD and all he wants to do is continue his career. Good for him.

  4. douglasmintz

    September 4, 2019 at 8:41 am

    Not sure the leagues handing out big contracts to Trumbo types these days. So not sure it’s particularly team friendly. Otherwise he’s seemed to do everything they asked — unless he really did shut down the pies…

  5. willmiranda

    September 4, 2019 at 10:39 am

    The choice between Trumbo and Mountcastle is a false dichotomy. Both could have been activated without going over the forty player limit. I find it instructive that the International League MVP committee isn’t as obsessed with walks as some people here. There’s no reason a player can’t improve his pitch selection at the major league level, in fact most players have to.

  6. ButchBird59

    September 4, 2019 at 10:44 am

    Nice article, Rich. Thank you.

    “Hyde has found the 33-year-old Trumbo to be helpful and a mentor to younger players . . . and that shouldn’t be discounted as an integral part of team-building.”

    I’d be shocked if batting instructor or manager isn’t part of his future and it would be nice to have him in the Orioles organization down the road.

    • DevoTion

      September 4, 2019 at 11:22 am

      I agree Butch he definitely has coach potential. Although, I don’t see trumbo retiring in the next few years. He may be forced out of the game the way so many veterans have been the past few years. I hope I am wrong but he would be lucky to get a minor league deal with an invite next season.
      Also, I don’t mind the O’s not bringing up some of their best prospects, it’s not going to help the team make the playoffs.

      One more thing. I don’t really get the point of expanding the roster to 40, it waters down the league and can make games longer with more substitutions.
      There should be a rule where you can only pick 25 guys from the 40 for a particular game that way subbing doesn’t get too out of hand

    • CalsPals

      September 4, 2019 at 11:52 am

      Agree, this is the last yr of the 40 man roster though, no expansion next yr…go O’s…

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 4, 2019 at 1:24 pm

      You’re welcome, Butch. Not sure what Mark wants to do next, but I think he’d be a fine batting instructor.

    • Rich Dubroff

      September 4, 2019 at 1:26 pm

      Devo, as we’ve pointed out here and CalsPals echoes, next year there will be 26 players from Opening Day until August 31 and 28 in September.

      • DevoTion

        September 4, 2019 at 4:39 pm

        That’s good to hear. I can’t keep up with all the changes in sports

  7. ClayDal

    September 4, 2019 at 1:36 pm

    Kudos to Trumbo for all the hard work he put in to make a comeback. Ironic that Brian Roberts , who also had a long comeback, was working the game for MASN. As far as Trumbo taking AB’s away from others, doesn’t appear he will be playing everyday. Did not start either game of the DH yesterday and only had 1 PH appearance. As far as adding him to the 40 man roster, unless Tom Eshelman gets claimed and becomes another Arrieta, it won’t hurt the Orioles long term. As far as Mountcastle, still only 22 and not quite a finished product. Still needs to work on defense and plate discipline. He was the International League MVP this year, but I looked up last years MVP. Somebody named Joey Meneses from the Phillies org. Not only wasn’t he called up in September last year, the Phillies released him and he is now playing in Japan. I predict that won’t happen to Mountcastle

  8. Delsym

    September 4, 2019 at 2:25 pm

    I truly believe that BOTH Trumbo and Davis will and have taught our young team invaluable life lessons on professionalism and being a good teammate and role model, particularly in the face of adversity…life lessons are most important of all and theses are solid role models and examples of MEN!
    Go Os!!!

    • CalsPals

      September 4, 2019 at 2:44 pm

      CD, especially when he went after Hyde…lesson learned, no repercussions…go O’s…

  9. Jbigle1

    September 4, 2019 at 4:40 pm

    Mark will be at 9 years of service one after this season. MLB pensions become fully vested after 10 years of service time. You can bet he’ll be looking for a job next spring. I’m sure he’s made enough money from his orioles contract alone to hang it up tomorrow if he wanted to. But there’s more incentive for him to latch him on.

  10. lurch

    September 4, 2019 at 5:18 pm

    If Trumbo is so good in the clubhouse and a leader and role model, why didn’t he (or why doesn’t he) take Crush into a corner and discuss his apparent lack of changing his batting style? He has witnessed this for over two years.

    • CalsPals

      September 4, 2019 at 5:25 pm

      He was too busy holding him back when he went after Hyde…go O’s…

  11. Mikepete73

    September 5, 2019 at 10:39 am

    it shows that they r coming up with any excuse to not promote mountcastle. even Showalter said he needed to walk more lol. so buck wanted a guy who hit .225 but walked a bunch and his .Oba was .305 instead of a guy who hits .315 doesnt walk alot but still has a .345 Oba. which guy would u want a guy who gets hits with players on base and drives they in or a guy who with a runner on 2nd base draws a walk then the next guy bounces into a DP

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