At the conclusion of the 2015 season, the Orioles, who have relied on power hitting during their four year resurgence, were faced with the possibility of losing Chris Davis and Matt Wieters to free agency.
The loss of Davis would hurt the most, however it was thought that Wieters’ production could be replaced, especially given his injury-plagued 2014 and 2015 seasons.
An early December trade, which saw Steve Clevenger head to Seattle in exchange for Mark Trumbo (and C.J. Riefenhauser), ensured that some of the power ‘lost’ would be regained, as many predicted Trumbo to enjoy himself at the hitter-friendly Oriole Park.
As history tells us, both Davis and Wieters ultimately returned to Baltimore, making the addition of Trumbo even more exciting in an explosive Orioles lineup.
Entering spring, Trumbo’s position in the strong lineup was in limbo – where would he hit and where would he play defense? In the end, it was decided that he could fill a void in right field and hit either fourth or fifth in the line up. Through the first 10 games of the season, that decision has paid huge dividends and the signs were there during spring training.
During the month of exhibition games, Trumbo hit .290 through 21 games, blasting five home runs and knocking in 17. His hot form excited many within Baltimore, as expectations grew that he might produce another 30 home run season (as he did in 2012 and 2013 with the Angels).
The regular season started on a high note for the 30-year-old, going 4-for-5 on opening day against the Twins. All of his hits were singles though, and while impressive, it wasn’t what fans had come to see from the strong right hander. The next four games followed suit and after the first five of the season – all at Camden Yards – Trumbo had gone 9-for-19 at the plate, with all nine hits being singles.
That all changed when the O’s headed off for their first road trip of the season though, as the pop O’s fans had been waiting for finally arrived. The three game series in Boston saw Trumbo go deep twice and double once, as he finished the series 4-for-13 with five RBIs. Both home runs came at crucial moments too, with a three run shot off David Price giving the O’s a lead in Game 1, and a two run shot off Clay Buchholz tying things up in Game 2.
The hot streak continued through the first two games in Texas too, launching a solo shot in Game 1 which put the O’s ahead in the 4th (they ultimately lost though), before going yard twice in the O’s massive nine run 7th in Game 2. These two were by far the most impressive, with the first bringing the O’s back into the game (from 1-5 to 3-5) and the second busting the game wide open (from 7-5 to 10-5). The five RBIs brought his early-season tally to 11, as he combines that with an ultra-impressive .400/.429/.800 slash line.
Most importantly, Trumbo’s dominance has been crucial in the O’s impressive 8-2 start to the season. The team has already belted 20 home runs, with each hitter in the lineup poised to go deep at any given moment. With power like this through 1 to 9, O’s fans are in for an exciting season.