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Mancini working on transition from 1B to RF

March 14, 2017

SARASOTA, Fla. -- In Tuesday's 9-6 loss to the Rays, Trey Mancini manned right field for the second time. It was much more eventful than the first.On Monday, in Mancini's first game in right field since he played in a college summer league, he didn't field a fly but made

SARASOTA, Fla. -- In Tuesday's 9-6 loss to the Rays, Trey Mancini manned right field for the second time. It was much more eventful than the first.
On Monday, in Mancini's first game in right field since he played in a college summer league, he didn't field a fly but made some credible throws.
On Tuesday he committed an error in the first inning, mishandling the ball when Tampa Bay's Corey Dickerson singled to right, though he did catch Casey Gillaspie's fly leading off the third.
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Mancini, who has been a first baseman, needs to learn another position in order to find a regular Major League job. Chris Davis, who re-signed for seven years in January 2016, has first base locked down, and Mark Trumbo, who re-upped for three years this past January, is slated to be the regular designated hitter.
Manager Buck Showalter had Brady Anderson, vice president of baseball operations, and first-base coach Wayne Kirby, who works with outfielders, tutor Mancini.
"Kirby and Brady have been impressed with his work out there and said, 'You might want to take a look at him as a possibility,'" Showalter said. "His arm is playing a little bit better out there than we thought. It's not as short as in the infield. He's a pretty athletic guy. ... There's only one way to find out, right?"
Mancini, who turns 25 on Saturday, was hoping the move from first base to right field wouldn't be jarring.
"It wasn't as much of a change as I thought," Mancini said. "You're on the same side of the field, so the angle is pretty similar, [the way] you see the batter. You're just farther away, but your ready position and everything is pretty similar, so it felt a lot more comfortable than you would think.
"The perception is different. You're out there and way further back. You've got to take a second to read fly balls and everything and see where they're going. It does help being on the same side of the field."
Showalter wants to make sure that the change doesn't harm Mancini's offense. He went 1-for-2 on Tuesday and is batting .353 this spring.
For now the questions about Mancini are about on defense, not offense.
Before Tuesday's game, Mancini said that hitting the cutoff man was the hardest part of the transition.
"I think that's the toughest part," he said. "I felt really good everywhere, except one thing I do think that I have to work on is transferring, and throwing is a lot different in the outfield than the infield. You field it and you get rid of it really quick. It's a short arm slot, and in the outfield, you kind of take your time, wind your arm up a little more. You get a lot more carry if you do that."

Rich Dubroff is a contributor to MLB.com.