Mancini at first, draft signings, Fister and tonight’s game

Trey-Mancini-run-orange-sidebar.jpgWhile the Orioles continue to evaluate shortstop Rubén Tejada, they’re also learning more about Trey Mancini as a first baseman.

They already know how easily he adapts to the outfield.

Mancini is getting regular starts at his natural position while Chris Davis is on the disabled list with a strained oblique. He corralled a ground ball last night from Carlos Santana near the line and flipped to Kevin Gausman to end the fourth inning and strand two runners in a scoreless game.

A dropped pop up Monday night during a 12-0 loss didn’t define his glove work.

Mancini saved Tejada from an error by scooping a throw in the dirt, and he got a 3-6 putout at second base Tuesday night in the ninth inning while the Indians were rallying against Brad Brach.

Santana grounded to Mancini, who fired to second base and nearly started a double play. Santana beat the relay, with Brach covering the bag, but Yan Gomes flied out and the Orioles held on for a 6-5 win.

The scoop and the throw reminded everyone of Davis.

“You know, a lot of first basemen don’t make that throw to second,” said manager Buck Showalter. “That puts the tying run there. I thought that was big.

“Trey’s not afraid to go get a ball to his right, he’s not afraid to make a throw. That’s what I liked about him. When he went to the outfield he didn’t look for a reason to not be good at it. He worked his butt off about it. He’s going to keep firing. That’s what you like about him.

“You can talk to him, you can approach him. He’s done a lot of things to prove people wrong since he was in college. I think he’s always going to be aggressive and let it fly.”

* The Orioles announced yesterday that they signed 27 of their draft picks, also an aggressive move. Negotiations continue with first-rounder DL Hall, the high school left-hander from Georgia, and a deal is expected to get done. He’s being “advised” by agent Scott Boras.

Here’s the list if you missed it yesterday:

Round 2 (comp balance): LHP Zac Lowther
Round 3: RHP Michael Baumann
Round 6: IF Mason McCoy
Round 7: C Ben Breazeale
Round 8: RHP Jimmy Murphy
Round 9: OF T.J. Nichting
Round 10: RHP Josh Keaton
Round 11: UTLY Trevor Craport
Round 12: LHP Tucker Baca
Round 13: RHP Reed Hayes
Round 14: LHP Cameron Ming
Round 15: 1B JC Escarra
Round 18: OF Jacob Brown
Round 20: RHP Scott Burke
Round 21: C Jose Montanez
Round 22: C Luke Ringhofer
Round 23: C Bryndan Arredondo
Round 25: 3B Willy Yahn
Round 27: RHP Nick Vichio
Round 28: OF Zach Jarrett
Round 29: LHP Matt Hammonds
Round 30: OF Will Robertson
Round 31: OF Robbie Thorburn
Round 32: 2B Max Hogan
Round 33: LHP Ryan Wilson
Round 34: RHP Tim Naughton
Round 36: SS Tyler Coolbaugh

So how did the Orioles make out in the draft? It’s much too early to offer an accurate grade, though people try it anyway.

“You never know with the draft,” said executive vice president Dan Duquette. “Everybody thinks they had a great draft the day of the draft. But we were interested in adding a couple of left-handed pitchers and we were able to do that at the top of the draft. We picked up one college lefty in Lowther, who had a really good summer in the Cape (Cod) League. He was the leading pitcher in the league. Led his team in strikeouts. He’s a pretty accomplished pitcher. And the high school kid’s got some really good talent. A lot of the draft experts liken him to (Scott) Kazmir.”

Hall wasn’t expected to be available with the 21st pick and the Orioles couldn’t resist taking him despite University of North Carolina shortstop Logan Warmoth still on the board.

“He’s a young left-handed pitcher with a lot of talent,” Duquette said. “Some of the ranking systems had him ranked higher than 21. They liked him more toward the middle of the round, between 12 and 15.”

The Orioles selected shortstop Adam Hall of A.B. Lucas Secondary School in Ontario, with their second-round pick.

“The other Hall, the shortstop, has some good tools,” Duquette said. “He’s young and we’ve been following him for a couple years. He have a good portfolio on him. It’s hard to find a middle infielder with his kind of tools. He’s a very good runner, has got good hands, got a good arm and a good chance to be an offensive shortstop. And we got a couple other right-handers.

“The kid (Jack) Conlon has got some really good tools. And the kid Baumann that we took from Jacksonville, they’re both really big, strong, physical right-handed pitchers. So, we’ll see. But we were trying to add a couple of left-handed pitchers and we got a couple at the top of the draft. We’ll see how they come along.

“And the outfielder (Lamar Sparks) from Texas, the center fielder that we got in the fifth round, he’s got some really good tools and he can be a skill player who’s also an offensive player.”

* Veteran right-hander Doug Fister exercised the opt-out clause in his contract yesterday, with the Angels releasing him from his minor league deal after three starts at Triple-A Salt Lake. I mention this only because he’s Doug Fister and the Orioles have held interest in him and they need to improve their starting pitching.

He’s become my version of Gavin Floyd, but without the Winter Meetings.

Fister, 33, allowed seven runs and 16 hits in 15 2/3 innings, with five walks and 10 strikeouts. The Orioles checked out some video and discussed him, though to what degree is unknown. Plenty of names get tossed around as they become available or are believed to be obtainable.

Prior interest in Fister was diluted by concerns over his ability to pass their physical. They kept checking his market again last winter, waiting to see whether his price came down after he reportedly sought $22 million over two years.

It’s safe to say that he’s retained the ability to intrigue the Orioles.

* Wade Miley has gone five, seven, 2 2/3, 2 1/3 and 5 2/3 innings in his last five starts. In three starts since holding the Red Sox to one run over seven innings, he’s allowed 16 runs (15 earned) and 20 hits with eight walks in 10 2/3 innings.

Miley is 1-1 with a 4.30 ERA in three career starts against the Indians, with a 1.977 WHIP in 14 2/3 innings. He’s allowed seven earned runs (eight total) and 21 hits with eight walks.

The current group is 17-for-44 (.386) against him. Edwin Encarnacion is 5-for-10 with two doubles, two home runs and seven walks. Santana is 3-for-7, Jason Kipnis is 3-for-8 and Lonnie Chisenhall is 2-for-4 with a double and triple.

Indians right-hander Mike Clevinger is making his eighth start this season and his ninth appearance. He’s worked only four innings in his last two starts, though he allowed only one run and two hits and threw 71 pitches in his most recent outing in Game 2 of a doubleheader in Minnesota.

Right-handers are hitting .167 against Clevinger this season and left-handers are hitting .224. But in two major league seasons, right-handers are hitting .249 and lefties are hitting .196.

Clevinger’s only start against the Orioles came on May 29, 2016 in Cleveland. He surrendered four runs and four hits and walked three batters in four innings in a 6-4 loss.

Only five Orioles have been to the plate against Clevinger. Mark Trumbo is 1-for-2 with a double and three RBIs.

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