Angels outfielder Mike Trout celebrated his 26th birthday on Monday. He gave himself quite a gift, doubling for his 1,000th career hit off of a first-pitch fastball from Dylan Bundy in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Trout would advance to third base on a ground out, then score on a Kole Calhoun sacrifice fly to break the scoreless tie. [Update: Trout homered in his next at-bat, a solo shot off of the left field foul pole.]
Trout entered the evening batting .343/.463/.703 with 22 home runs, 51 RBI, 51 runs scored, and 13 stolen bases in 298 plate appearances. Those are incredibly good stats considering he missed a month and a half with a torn thumb ligament.
His teammates helped him celebrate his birthday in a more, uh, interesting way:
The Orioles singlehandedly kept the rumor mill churning this weekend. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the club is interested in making a play for free agent right-hander Lance Lynn, adding him to a list of potential candidates that also includes free agent righty Alex Cobb. The two are expected to command similar contracts in free agency, but Morosi notes that the Orioles may prefer Cobb based on his familiarity with the AL East.
Lynn, 30, is two years removed from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Despite missing the 2016 season, he bounced back with a respectable 11-8 record in 33 starts and complemented his efforts with a 3.43 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 over 186 1/3 innings for the 2017 Cardinals. He lost several days with a blister on his pitching hand in early September, but managed to avoid any major injuries and can reasonably be expected to shoulder another heavy workload in 2018.
Lynn may not be the Orioles’ first choice to beef up their starting rotation, but there’s no doubt that he’ll be in high demand as one of very few viable starters on the market this winter. The veteran righty rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals on Thursday and will likely be seeking a multi-year contract, one that Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch estimates around five years and $100+ million. If the Orioles are willing to bite that bullet, they’ll still need to compensate the Cardinals with their third pick in next year’s draft.