BOSTON—Mark Trumbo is set to play in his final game for the Orioles Sunday afternoon. Trumbo was dealt to the Orioles in December 2015 and led the major leagues in home runs with 47 in 2016.
Before the 2017 season, he signed a three-year extension. In September 2018, he underwent right knee surgery that’s limited him to just 11 games this season.
Trumbo talked about his time with the Orioles and his future before this weekend’s series with the Red Sox began.
Question-What’s this weekend like for you?
Answer: “I think the last few series I probably have had the similar mindset as far as trying to enjoy it as much as I can. I’ve never really been one to either look too far ahead or behind. As far as playing, it’s always been kind of very focused and very kind of rigid, the day-to-day stuff, the opponent at hand, whoever that night’s pitcher was. I think in the last couple of weeks, maybe a tad more reflective than I’ve been in the past.”
Q-When you came to bat last Sunday, you have greeted warmly by the fans at home. Did you pick up on that?
A-“I did, I was very appreciative of anything. I wasn’t expecting anything, but I’ve seen how the Orioles fans have treated guys in the past. It seems like it’s always been very positive. I feel very fortunate to have seen J.J. [Hardy’s], for example. It was something I’ll never forget. When he hit the home run in the last game. Some of those things will last a lot longer than the day-to-day grind of what we did.”
Q-If you look at your time here, you bridge, the time of Hardy, Adam Jones, Chris Tillman, Matt Wieters. Now it’s a lot different. How has the atmosphere around here changed over that time?
A-“Looking back when I did sign [an extension in January 2017], I kind of figured that two of the three years would probably have been pretty competitive, and then at some point, there was going to be some turnover, but I don’t think I could have predicted to the extent that it has. That always counted on some transition there, so I wasn’t caught off-guard when things happened. I think it’s just kind of a natural progression for teams that aren’t mega-spenders.
“There’s going to be some periods of being very competitive and some when you’re not. We’re in the process of trying to get some long-term sustainability. That being said, it’s been nice this year in terms of maybe trying to help some of the younger guys. I think that’s about as rewarding as it gets. Everybody wants to get the game-winning hit. Maybe you can help someone, give them a little bit of advice over the time you spend with them. I think, for me, that always feels really good.”
Q-Have you enjoyed your time here?
A-“I have. I have. When I got traded from Seattle over here, I really didn’t know hardly anything about what was going on in Baltimore. It was on the other side of the country from where I grew up. I knew they had a good team, but I really didn’t know what Buck [Showalter] had in place as far as the clubhouse with Adam, J.J., Matt, Darren [O’Day], the guys that kind of led the charge. I felt really fortunate. ’16 was the best team record-wise I’ve been able to play on and getting to play in Toronto in that elimination game was one of the best memories I’ll have even though it didn’t go our way.
“I think I’ve had some good times. ’16 was the best year I’ve had. ’17 was probably the worst year I’ve had, statistically speaking. Last year, in the limited time I played I feel like I was actually pretty competitive with the bat. The knee injury has taken a lot of the wind out of the sails, so to speak. I can’t really do what I’ve always…I don’t want to say taken for granted. It’s kind of changed what I’m able to produce on the field, and unfortunately, there’s no real way around that.”
Q-Has this month showed you enough to enable you to want to try again next year?
A-“I’ll have to see. I’ll have to see over the winter. I said it previously, I don’t know if it was a month ago or what. I think I’m going to need to see some more consistency on the health side of things. The cycle of playing and then dealing with inflammation and pain. It’s kind of just this revolving cycle that I’m hoping that I can, at some point, I can get away from, even for everyday things. Getting your knee drained is not a pleasant experience. It’s necessary to be able to play sometimes, but it’s not the best feedback in terms of feeling like you’re heading towards health.”
Q-Because you’ve worked with young guys this year, and the manager has spoken highly about your leadership, would you consider coaching in the future?
A-“I have. I don’t know at what point I’d want to get into it. For some guys, it makes sense and some guys want to get as far away from it as possible. I’ve always enjoyed kind of looking at what guys do and maybe could help…we’re talking hitting, maybe it’s a physical thing or maybe it’s more of a mental thing. It’s something that kind of brings me some happiness. I feel like I have a little bit of ability to do it, at least and I’ll probably want to explore it down the road.”