May 1, 2018 -- The Orioles lose to the Angels, 3-2. (Denise Sanders, Blatimore Sun video)
Designated hitter-outfielder Mark Trumbo was activated from the disabled list and is expected to make his regular-season debut Tuesday night against the Los Angeles Angels.
Trumbo, who opened the season on the DL with a nagging quadriceps strain that limited him to 23 spring training at-bats, played five games on a minor league rehabilitation assignment before returning. That included most recently three games with Triple-A Norfolk at Charlotte, where Trumbo played the outfield and served as DH and went 4-for-14.
"It's great. It's great," Trumbo said. "I guess this took about as much time as I originally had been told it might. I would have had gotten it going sooner than later, but it just wasn't quite ready up until recently. The assignment down in Charlotte went well. I played outfield two of the days and I got tested a number of times and it all checked out."
It's been a long climb back for Trumbo, who halted his rehab twice after testing his quad in a game before his most recent rehab assignment. His goal was to ensure that the injury was completely resolved before returning, and even though that took longer than anticipated, Trumbo said last week that he was confident he took the positive turn he needed, and his rehab assignment offered reassurance that he was ready to return.
"Just forgetting about the injury, not constantly dwelling on, [asking myself], 'Is it there yet, is it not there?' counting your steps when you're running," Trumbo said. "That's not where you want to be as a player, constantly guarding against an injury, so I was able to just focus on the important things out there, which was playing ball and I think that was the best indicator right away.
The Orioles optioned outfielder Joey Rickard to Norfolk on Monday to make 25-man roster to make room for Trumbo, an Orange County native who was drafted by the Angels and spent his first four years in Anaheim.
"I think it's a presence thing as much as anything," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said about Trumbo's return. "I think one thing we tried to do, is make pitchers grind through the lineup and be able to stretch that out a little bit and not have as many — I don't want to say breathing points — but let's face it. What drives anxiety with pitchers is the fear of power. That's why you see guys who strike out 200 times a year walk 90-100 times. … I think having him as a person around us can play in, but also the presence he creates in the lineup."
The Orioles placed utility infielder Luis Sardiñas on the 10-day disabled list with a lower back strain and recalled Engelb Vielma to take his place.
Sardiñas, who reported to the team's spring training facility in Sarasota, last played Saturday as a late-inning substitution. His most recent start came nine days ago on April 22. He is 2-for-18 at the plate.
Vielma was up briefly last month, going 0-for-3 in three games, but earned praise from Showalter for his defense.
Davis returns to lineup
First baseman Chris Davis was back in the starting lineup after sitting out the previous two games, both against left-handed starters, to receive, as Showalter called it, a reset.
Davis, who started at first base and batted seventh Tuesday, is hitting just .167/.257/.256 with two homers and six RBIs through 25 games.
"I hope [it helps]," Showalter said. "I think it's a good fresh start for him. I hope it starts tonight. He's been working hard on some things. Hopefully, it will come into play a little bit."
Second baseman Jonathan Schoop ran the bases and did a full round of batting practice in Sarasota. He will play in extended spring games Wednesday and Thursday and would then play minor league rehab games for Double-A Bowie on Friday, Saturday and Sunday with the expectation of being activated from the DL next Tuesday. … Infield prospect Ryan Mountcastle, who is on the minor league DL with a right hand fracture, played in his first extended spring game Tuesday and received four at-bats. … Outfielder Colby Rasmus, who is in Sarasota rehabbing a hip injury, took 30 swings off a tee Tuesday and jogged lightly. … Outfielder-first baesman Trey Mancini entered Tuesday hitting .305 from the leadoff spot, the fourth best average in the AL and 10th best in the majors. He has hit safely in 15 of his 19 starts from the leadoff spot.