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Orioles notes: Mark Trumbo sits with back spasms, Darren O'Day inching closer to return

Baltimore Orioles' Mark Trumbo walks off the field after popping out to end the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays in Baltimore, Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016. Tampa won 7-6.
Baltimore Orioles' Mark Trumbo walks off the field after popping out to end the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays in Baltimore, Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016. Tampa won 7-6. (Patrick Semansky / AP)

Orioles outfielder-designated hitter Mark Trumbo, the major league home run leader at 42 entering Friday, is out of the lineup for just the second time this season with back spasms.

"Trumbo came in with some back spasms — something he has, he told me, a couple times a year," manager Buck Showalter said. "They manage pretty quickly. Hopefully, that'll manage by game time and he'll be available to us. That's the way I will present it. We'll see what happens. … We'll treat it accordingly. Hopefully, he'll be back in the starting lineup tomorrow. We'll see."

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Trumbo, who is batting .248 with a team-high 100 RBIs in what has been a renaissance season for the slugging corner man, joins a growing list of injured Orioles outfielders who are testing the club's depth at a time when it is fortunate to have an expanded roster to cover for it.

The Orioles were hoping to have rookie Joey Rickard (torn thumb ligament) back by now, but Showalter said he's looking increasingly unlikely to hit his Monday eligibility date to come off the 60-day disabled list.

"Rickard started facing live pitching [Friday], and it did not go well," Showalter said. "We'll see how he feels later on. He took one or two swings, then went in. That kind of plays into whether or not we need to [do something]. We thought he might be with us Monday, but it's not looking like that's going to happen. With him, Steve Pearce, now Trumbo, we may have to go grab somebody."

Pearce, who was acquired at the nonwaiver trade deadline from the Tampa Bay Rays, had a platelet-rich plasma injection on his right elbow Wednesday and is shut down for at least a week.

In the interim, the injuries mean more consistent playing time for Hyun Soo Kim and Michael Bourn, plus designated hitter Pedro Alvarez. All three were in Friday's lineup, though Showalter will likely use his expanded bench to find every platoon advantage available.

"Kim was going to play [Friday] anyway," Showalter said. "He was in left field, and probably play [Saturday]. We're not that far down. We'll see what we're going to do Sunday with [Jake] Odorizzi. But it's a lot easier with a 40-man roster, I'll tell you that. This isn't a DL-able injury, so we'd be playing short like we've done quite often this year. Nothing's as easy as — we'd rather have Trumbo in the lineup. But it's a lot easier to offset the loss this time of year."

If the Orioles need to add another to the bench, Showalter said Christian Walker, Dariel Alvarez, Julio Borbon and Chris Dickerson are staying active at the team facility in Sarasota, Fla.

O'Day return looming

Reliever Darren O'Day (strained right rotator cuff) had a second simulated game Friday, throwing 26 pitches and coming through feeling well, Showalter said.

"He'll take tomorrow and provided he feels OK, we'll make a decision on Sunday or Monday," Showalter said. "He threw around 25, 26 pitches today. … He felt pretty good, and we'll see what tomorrow brings. If we have a problem there, we'll make a decision on Sunday or Monday. We've got the day game Sunday, so I don't know if that'll figure into the decision or not."

When O'Day came back after more than seven weeks out with a hamstring injury in late July, he had two rehabilitation outings before returning in the ninth inning of a tied game against the Cleveland Indians on July 24. He pitched a scoreless inning and earned a win when the Orioles walked off that afternoon.

Showalter said the club would like to ease O'Day back, but that's not always possible.

"The other team, in the game, doesn't always cooperate with you," Showalter said. "I think Darren, he'd like to do it that way, but it may not present itself as such. If we feel like he's our best option to win a game, to get an out, then we'll do that. But I hope it happens the other way. It seems to follow suit that the game doesn't cooperate with you. But we'll see. It's not like it's May or June."

Around the horn

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Showalter confirmed left-hander Wade Miley will start Sunday in the series finale against the Rays. … The Orioles named left-hander Donnie Hart the Jim Palmer Minor League Pitcher of the Year, and named catcher Chance Sisco the Brooks Robinson Minor League Player of the Year. Third baseman Drew Dosch won the Elrod Hendricks Minor League Community Service Award. They will be honored Saturday at Camden Yards.

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