O's rally around Mancini during health concerns

March 8th, 2020

SARASOTA, Fla. -- One day after Trey Mancini left the team, the Orioles were understandably more interested in expressing concern for their teammate than they were in guessing how Mancini’s departure would affect the lineup.

Mancini, a fan favorite and arguably the O’s most consistent player last season, will undergo a “nonbaseball medical procedure” sometime next week. The details surrounding the issue are private out of respect for the player, manager Brandon Hyde said Saturday, but those in the clubhouse are concerned for their friend.

“Trey’s an enormous part of this team and a huge face for our club and everybody loves him,” Hyde added before Sunday's 5-5 tie against the Yankees. “When there’s a setback, then it hurts to not have him here. We’re just thinking about him and his well-being.”

Mancini has garnered just 12 at-bats this spring. He’s battled flulike symptoms for much of that time, and although they alone aren’t indicative of anything more serious, his teammates’ words held a serious note on Sunday morning before the Orioles hosted the Yankees.

“He just loves everybody; whether it’s a random fan in the stands or clubhouse staff or the guy hitting behind him, he’s got the same relationship with everybody,” starter Alex Cobb said. “He treats everybody so well, so to see him have to go through what he’s going through, it’s heartbreaking. But it gives us all an opportunity to show how much we love him, and to rally around him and be there for him during this.”

Mancini last appeared in a game on Monday and finished 0-for-2 against the Rays. The 27-year-old is fresh off a 97-RBI, 35-homer season -- his third with the O’s -- during which he slashed .291/.364/.535. That, coupled with the intangibles he brings to the team, saw Mancini named the team’s Most Valuable Oriole last season, and most indispensable player for 2020.

“It’s a huge loss,” veteran first baseman Chris Davis said. “I think Trey was pretty much our most consistent player last year, and you’re not going to replace a guy like that.”

For now, the O’s are understandably not concerned about what will happen on the field, with Hyde reporting the club had had no discussions about moving forward should Mancini miss an extended period of time. Per Hyde, Mancini will have “further tests done,” but could start the season on the injured list depending on what those tests reveal.

Whatever the case, Mancini has the full support and attention of the Orioles, who have reached out to their star and friend.

“We’ve been keeping in constant contact with Trey, and sometimes, things happen that make you open your eyes a little bit from what’s important,” Hyde said.

“There’s no doubt in my mind, the competitor that he is, that he’s going to get through this with no problem,” Cobb added. “It’s going to be difficult, but he’s going to get through this and he’s going to come back stronger, and with definitely a new perspective on life and an appreciation of the game that he probably didn’t have before.”