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Wednesday Bird Droppings: Where it’s Mark Trumbo’s birthday!

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Also, the Orioles have selected a new pitching coach and Buck Showalter sold his house.

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Baltimore Orioles Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Birdland!

Much like his Orioles teammates, Mark Trumbo wasn’t at his best in 2018. However, he was not awful, at least not at the plate. His .261 batting average and .313 on-base percentage were both better than his career average. His .452 slugging percentage (perhaps his most important metric) lagged slightly, but it was a drastic improvement over the .397 mark he posted in 2017. Over 90 games, he had rediscovered a piece of what made him an exciting addition to the Birds back in 2016.

How the “new Orioles” deploy Trumbo will be interesting to see. Power is the key to his game, but he tends to perform better at the plate during games in which he also plays in the field rather than DH’ing. The only problem there is that he’s a lousy fielder, at least in the outfield. He’s about average as a first baseman. The issue there is that the Orioles also have Chris Davis and Trey Mancini. Which one gets to play first? Who’s the DH? Who gets stuck in the outfield?

If the decision were based on performance alone, Davis would likely be relegated to the bench while Trumbo manned first and Mancini DH’ed. But we know that isn’t how the world works.

Links

Source: Orioles tab Brocail as pitching coach - Baltimore Sun
Accepting the job of Orioles pitching coach is a dubious honor. Many talented baseball people have held the role in recent years and few have emerged better off for doing so. However, it is a new era in Baltimore and perhaps Mike Elias, Brandon Hyde and others can allow the pitching staff to thrive in ways it was unable to previously.

Buck Showalter sells home outside Baltimore - Los Angeles Times
Were you in the market for a $1.5 million, 5500 square foot house in Baltimore County? Well, I’m sorry to inform you that there is now one less available.

Three years after Chris Davis’ record contract with Orioles, ramifications for club, baseball only grow - Baltimore Sun
Davis used to be really good. It could be argued that, at his peak, he was one of the top 50 players in all of baseball. Now, he’s one of the worst. The 2019 season will be make or break for him. The Orioles have to pay Davis every cent that they agreed to, but that doesn’t mean they must continue giving him a roster spot no matter how poorly he performs on the field.

3 Remaining Needs: AL East - MLB Trade Rumors
The list for the O’s, according to this post, goes like this: trade Mychal Givens, sign a few cheap veterans on one-year deals and improve the club’s international operations. I would be quite surprised if any of these three things wasn’t already in process. Givens could be dealt anytime between now and the trade deadline without losing any value unless he completely falls apart. They will sign a free agent or two, but probably not until closer to Opening Day. And all signs point to the team being more serious internationally going forward. In Elias, we trust.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is it your birthday? Happy Birthday!

It’s the 33rd birthday of home run-hitting and post-game-pie-hating Mark Trumbo. The DH is entering his final season under contract with the Orioles and will be hoping to bounce back from an injury shortened 2018.

Happy 36th birthday to infielder Eider Torres, who appeared in eight games for the 2008 Birds. And finally, Jack Cust maybe turns 40 today. Baseball Reference says that today is his birthday, but Wikipedia indicates he celebrated the big day earlier this month. Either way, it’s a great opportunity to remember this shining moment in Orioles history:

2016- Chris Davis re-signs with the Orioles for seven years and $161 million. It is the largest contract given out in franchise history.