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Orioles need a healthy Mark Trumbo to be ahead of schedule to assist rebuild

If their designated hitter can return to good health, Baltimore can hasten their rebuilding process.

January 29, 2019 - 7:00 am

By: Kyle J. Andrews

Orioles designated hitter Mark Trumbo underwent season-ending knee surgery to repair torn cartilage in September. Trumbo had an abbreviated 2018 campaign, participating in just 90 games due to his knee injury. However, things are looking better for the 2016 AL home run leader.

"Things are good, things are good," Trumbo re-iterated about his knee during Orioles FanFest. "The strength is right where we want it. Kinda progressing to a little more running, but I've been hitting and that checked out fine -- throwing is fine. So, I think as we get closer here, I'm going to go into Florida a little bit early and kind of test it a little bit more. And I don't see any reason why things won't be where they need to be."

Trumbo slashed .261/.313.452 with 17 home runs and 44 runs batted in. While an improvement from his 2017 season where he batted .234/.289/.397 with 23 homers and 65 RBI, he played in 56 fewer games. If he is able to stay healthy, bat .250 or higher and give Baltimore 25+ home runs and around 60 RBI, the Orioles could have a positive situation on their hands.

The same could be said for better play from Chris Davis. If either player is hot or shows consistency over the course of the 2019 season, Baltimore could possibly be ahead of schedule for their rebuild. It could come in one of two forms for Trumbo: a trade to acquire prospects or Trumbo plays well enough to give the Orioles a boost in the middle of the lineup throughout the season.

While Trumbo is set to become a free agent at year's end, he is currently set to make $13.5 million. At 33 years of age, it could be one last make or break season for the nine-year pro.

Notes:

On Monday, the Orioles claimed infielder Jack Reinheimer off waivers from the Texas Rangers. In a corresponding move, Baltimore designated right-handed pitcher Austin Brice for assignment. Reinheimer, 26, also has played in left field with the New York Mets for six games. The rest of his games came in the infield at third base, shortstop and second. He played one game with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2017.

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