O's hoping rest will help Mancini (oblique)

September 8th, 2021

BALTIMORE -- remained out of the starting lineup for the Orioles on Wednesday due to an oblique injury, according to manager Brandon Hyde. Mancini's absence was first attributed to general soreness and an injury to his foot after taking a fastball off it in New York on Sunday.

When asked if Mancini was pushing to get back into the lineup, Hyde’s tone changed.

“We talk every day, and the right thing to do for him is to let it rest,” Hyde said. “I give him a ton of credit. He stayed in the game in New York. He did it on his first swing in the last game in New York. He knew how short we were on the bench.”

Mancini’s first swing on Sunday at Yankee Stadium was on a 90.6 mph sinker from Corey Kluber. In his first at-bat of the game, Mancini struck out on four pitches -- when the injury took place. He remained in the game, drawing a walk in the third and fifth innings before being hit by a pitch in the foot in the seventh. Again, the first baseman remained in the game and eventually scored in the seventh.

Hyde was glad that Mancini walked twice and didn’t make the injury worse, but he knew that he could have -- and would have -- run it out if needed.

For now, Hyde and the Orioles hope to have Mancini back soon. The skipper doesn’t want to push up the timetable, knowing that Mancini will tell him when he’s ready.

Something to prove

If you asked anyone, Hyde, what the O's infield would look like in September, it would definitely be a different version than Wednesday’s starters against the Royals. Ryan Mountcastle started at first base (with Mancini out), Jorge Mateo at shortstop, Jahmai Jones at second base and Kelvin Gutierrez at third.

“It's a lot different than it was earlier [this season],” Hyde said. “We're giving guys, like we have for a few years now, an opportunity to see if they can solidify themselves and be a big league player.”

Mateo is still playing a little banged up, according to Hyde, but that isn’t stopping him from impressing. Mateo reached base in 24 of his previous 25 starts since joining the Orioles. Playing every day has helped establish what kind of player he could be. In his first 79 career games with the Padres, Mateo drew just three walks. Since joining the O’s, he recorded seven in his past 12 games.

Mountcastle, the raking American League Rookie of the Year Award candidate, has showcased his talents all season long. His 25 home runs entering Wednesday ranked as the third most by a rookie in a single season in Orioles history. He’s proven that he can be aggressive at the plate, swinging at 41.3 percent of first pitches -- the sixth-highest percentage in the AL.