The Orioles announced Monday that they’ve activated designated hitter Mark Trumbo from the 60-day injured list. In order to clear space on the 40-man roster, right-hander Tom Eshelman has been designated for assignment.
Trumbo, 33, hasn’t appeared in the Majors since last August due to a knee injury that ultimately required surgical repair. He’s endured a lengthy and grueling rehab in an effort to get back to the field before his three-year, $37.5MM contract expires at season’s end. Trumbo recently acknowledged that his future in the game very much depends on how his knee responds to his return; while the veteran slugger expressed interest in continuing his playing career if he can get back to feeling the way he did a few years ago, the pain in his knee has at least made him contemplate whether he’ll be able to continue beyond the current campaign.
Trumbo was quite good in his first season with the O’s back in 2016, hitting .256/.316/.533 (122 OPS+) with a league-leading 47 home runs in an All-Star showing. That prompted the former Baltimore front-office regime to re-sign Trumbo to the aforementioned three-year pact. The first year of that deal was largely disappointing, though he was in the midst of a solid rebound in 2018 (.261/.313/.452, 109 OPS+) when his knee troubles reached their breaking point.
The 25-year-old Eshelman, meanwhile, was acquired from the Phillies back on June 10 in a deal that sent international bonus allotments to Philadelphia. Eshelman, who was drafted by the Astros when current Orioles GM Mike Elias was Houston’s scouting director, made 10 big league appearances with Baltimore and another seven in Triple-A, though the cumulative results weren’t especially impressive. The 2015 second-rounder logged a 4.70 ERA with 6.6 K/9, 1.6 BB/9 and 1.4 HR/9 in 38 1/3 innings with Triple-A Norfolk but was lit up for a 6.50 ERA with a 22-to-11 K/BB ratio and a dozen homers allowed in 36 MLB frames. Fielding-independent metrics weren’t much more optimistic on his results — 7.33 FIP, 5.93 xFIP, 5.54 SIERA — and because post-July trades have been eliminated, Eshelman will now become available to all 29 other clubs on outright waivers.