Kendry Morales’ uncertain status as he comes back from the broken leg that ended his 2010 season after 51 games has potentially opened the door for a minor leaguer to grab a roster spot and perhaps even a prominent early season role for the Angels.
So far at least Mark Trumbo looks like the man for the job thanks to the power the 6-foot-4, 220-pounder has displayed in camp, smacking three homers and slugging .875 in the early games.
Trumbo has just 16 at-bats in the majors, all of which came last September, but he tied for the minor-league lead with 36 homers at Triple-A last season while hitting .301 with a .945 OPS and Pacific Coast League-leading 122 RBIs.
Those numbers were significantly better than Trumbo’s previous production and the combination of a high strikeout rate and mediocre plate discipline make him far from a sure thing to succeed at age 25, but his power potential is tough to ignore when he’s smacking bombs off the batters’ eye in center field or into the parking lot every other day.
Ichiro wore a fake mustache to sneak into the Mariners’ dugout
Ichiro Suzuki is now a Mariners employee and, as such, he’s not allowed to sit in the dugout during a game. That’s for coaches and players only.
He knows that, too. Indeed, on the day Ichiro announced his sorta-retirement, he talked about how it was going to be hard not to be down on the field with the other players. He even made a ridiculous joke about how, “[he] can’t say for certain that maybe [he] won’t put on a beard and glasses and be like Bobby Valentine and be in the dugout.”
In related news, this mysterious stranger was seen by an Associated Press photographer in the Mariners dugout during the first couple of innings of the M’s-Yankees game:
No beard, but I guess that joke was not very ridiculous after all. Either way, by the end of the second inning — poof — he was gone.
Obviously, when something interesting like this happens you mustache an expert for their opinion on the matter. To that end, the Associated Press reached Bobby Valentine, who famously did the same thing after an ejection way back in 1999, for comment:
“He was perfect. I never would have known it was him.”
Valentine was suspended for two games and fined $5,000. I’m assuming Ichiro won’t get hit quite as hard given that he wasn’t defying an umpire’s authority, but even if he does have to pay a fine, he’ll likely do so willingly.