Many were chalking Mark Trumbo’s 2011 campaign up as a fluke, noting his ugly K/BB ratio and stating with certainty that he was likely to get exposed as pitchers discovered the holes in his swing.
But, as it turns out, the dude actually can hit a little bit.
Trumbo notched the second multi-homer effort in his past five games Sunday, blasting a pair of three-run bombs in the victory over the Rockies. The owner of an impressive .326/.380/.632 batting line, Trumbo has now gone deep 14 times while driving in 39 runs this season.
Is he going to continue to sport a near-.330 batting clip? No. It’s probably not even going to be close to .300. But, it’s pretty clear at this point that Trumbo’s talents have been underestimated. For a guy that entered the season with playing time questions and worries about a foot injury, he’s surpassed expectations by a wide margin.
League To Return To Old Role?
When Mariners manager Eric Wedge removed Brandon League from the closer role just over two weeks ago, he vowed that the hard-throwing right-hander would return to the ninth inning eventually. It appears that that day might be coming soon.
Wedge said before Sunday's game that League will get his job back “sooner rather than later.” At the time of Wedge's statement, the 29-year-old had allowed just one run while striking out six and walking one over 6 2/3 frames since being demoted. Wedge did say that even after League retakes the ninth, he wouldn’t rule out Tom Wilhelmsen seeing the occasional save chance.
“If Brandon does close, it doesn’t mean Tom (Wilhelmsen) or someone else won’t get opportunities, too,” Wedge said in the Tacoma News Tribune.
Of course, things didn't go so well for League against the Dodgers Sunday, as he allowed four hits and two runs over an inning of work. It remains to be seen whether the appearance will change Wedge's line of thinking. But, regardless, it's clear that the manager intends on giving League his job back at some point.
Wilhelmsen has nailed down all three save chances since unofficially taking over as closer, allowing just one hit and no walks over 3 2/3 innings. He’s been unscored upon over his last 8 2/3 frames, boasting a 0.46 WHIP and 8/1 K/BB ratio over that stretch. Keep in mind that League is a good bet to be moved at the trade deadline, so Wilhelmsen could find himself back in the ninth inning eventually. If you have roster space, it might be a good idea to hang on to him even after League regains his job.
Alexi Ogando’s opportunity in the rotation wasn’t supposed to last long, but it looks like it will be an even shorter stint than the Rangers anticipated.
The hard-throwing right-hander strained his right groin while beating out a bunt single Sunday and admitted after the game that it “feels pretty bad.” He’ll receive an MRI Monday, but at this point a trip to the disabled list seems probable.
So if Ogando is indeed placed on the DL, what will the Rangers do about the back-end of their rotation? Roy Oswalt isn’t ready, as he’s slated to make his third rehab start Tuesday and thus would be pitching on three days’ rest on Saturday, when Ogando’s spot comes up again. Most likely, we would see the Rangers go with Robbie Ross for a spot start before handing a rotation spot over to Oswalt the following week.
National League Quick Hits: Troy Tulowitzki (groin) could be activated from the disabled list Friday, the first day he’s eligible. He’s expected to begin a rehab assignment early this week … Melky Cabrera (hamstring) is expected to return to the Giants' starting lineup Tuesday. He missed the entire weekend series against the Giants … Carlos Zambrano is not expected to miss a start after exiting his last outing with lower back tightness … Andrew Cashner has been sent down to Double-A San Antonio following an abbreviated start Saturday. Cashner will be stretched out and re-enter the Padres rotation later this month … Tim Hudson is expected to be ready to take the ball his next time out after having his last start skipped due to bone chips in his ankle … Drew Stubbs (oblique) has missed the last five games, and his return to the lineup isn’t imminent. The Reds still think he’ll avoid the DL, but they’ll have to make a decision on him soon if the ailment continues to linger … Gaby Sanchez was recalled by the Marlins Sunday and doubled in a run in four at-bats in his first game back. Sanchez should receive the bulk of the playing time at first base, but he’s not a recommended mixed league play.
American League Quick Hits: Jered Weaver (back) could rejoin the Angels rotation next weekend. He’ll throw off a mound Monday for the first time since landing on the DL … The Tigers were hoping that Doug Fister (left side strain) would rejoin the rotation Wednesday, but he’s not quite ready after still experiencing some soreness and stiffness following Saturday’s bullpen session … Nelson Cruz missed a start Monday due to a sore Achilles. The ailment isn’t considered serious … Adam Dunn is expected to start in left field for all three games of the White Sox’ upcoming interleague series in St. Louis. That means Dayan Viciedo and his 12 home runs will be on the bench … Jonathan Sanchez (biceps) is expected to be activated from the DL sometime this week. It could either be Wednesday, which would be after four days of rest, or the Royals could wait until Saturday, when a need for a fifth starter comes up … Russell Martin helped the Yankees sweep the Subway Series with a walk-off solo homer Sunday. It was his second longball of the day … Colby Rasmus went deep again as part of a three-hit day Sunday. He’s finally heating up, batting .308 so far in June with a pair of longballs … Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler is expected to sign on with someone by Monday. The Cubs are viewed as the favorites, but the Yankees might be a close second.