It’s a startling drop for a player who finished third in Rookie of the Year balloting in the American League last season after batting .293/.338/.488 with 26 doubles, four triples, 24 home runs and 78 RBIs in 147 games. A player with a career .306/.357/.472 slash line in four minor league seasons.
“Trey’s going to hit,” said manager Buck Showalter. “Trey’s shown that. He’s hit everywhere he’s been. He’s going to hit here again. He’s got a nice, bright future with us and we’re lucky to have him. He’s just going through a period.
“He’s got so much want-to and he’s so invested in it emotionally and mentally. He knows and we’ve got a pretty good idea what he’s doing physically that’s causing a lot of it, without getting into it, and sometimes the body just doesn’t cooperate. And we know the pitchers don’t cooperate.
“I talked to him a little bit about it today, and have before. We talked about the options that he has. I know what he’s going to do. He’s going to work like he has, almost to a fault.
“It’s funny how you can do all these things and attack what you know is causing a lot of other things, a lot of peripheral things that happen off of one thing and that creates more issues. It’s not just a matter of correcting one thing because that’s made other things not work right.”
The length of Mancini’s absence should be short, but it could extend to Thursday night’s makeup game against the Phillies. The Orioles sat Jonathan Schoop for two games and he’s gone on a tear with a .432 average (16-for-37) during a nine-game hitting streak.
“We’ll see,” Showalter said. “I’m going to talk to him some more. I gave him some options today. Didn’t want him to blurt anything out. Give him some time to think about it. We’d love to have the Trey that we know he’s capable of being.
“A few days ago, he’d have two or three good at-bats and you’d go, ‘OK, here we go.’ And it would get away from him again. They’re pitching him the same way they pitched him last year. He’s just chasing some balls he shouldn’t be chasing.”
The knee that Mancini slammed into the brick wall in foul territory isn’t bothering him. That’s what he told Showalter, who made another health check.
“I asked him about it the other day and he goes, ‘No,’ but what’s he going to say?” Showalter said. “He’s not one of those guys who looks for any type of excuse. But sometimes through that you can develop some bad habits that take a while to get out of.
“In the future he’ll look back at this because he’s going to hit again. He’s too good of a hitter. He’s got too good of a track record at all levels.”
With Mancini on the bench tonight, Joey Rickard stays in the lineup and starts in left field after playing both ends of Monday’s doubleheader - replacing Adam Jones in center in the nightcap - and patrolling right last night.
Rickard has four hits in 10 at-bats during that stretch, including a two-run double last night that broke a scoreless tie.
The Orioles made another roster move before the game, placing Andrew Cashner on the 10-day disabled list with a neck strain and recalling pitcher Yefry Ramírez, who is expected to start Saturday or Sunday.
Cashner received a trigger point injection in his neck earlier today.
“He’s had it, I’m not sure about before last year, but I know he’s had it in the past. Something he gets a real good return from,” Showalter said.
“There’s a lot of things guys do right before the break. Some guys get injections - shoulders, different stuff. Position players, pretty common. But, hopefully, he’ll respond well to that. We expect it to be good and he’ll finish the rest of the year.”
Chris Tillman returned to Camden Yards today and was on the field during batting practice. He worked 6 1/3 innings last night at Single-A Frederick in his fifth rehab start and allowed six runs (four earned) and five hits with three walks, four strikeouts and a home run. He also committed two throwing errors.
Tillman has totaled 21 1/3 innings on the assignment and surrendered 18 earned runs and 28 hits with 11 walks and 10 strikeouts.
Special assignment pitching instructor Ramón Martinez watched Tillman again last night and met with Showalter, pitching coach Roger McDowell and bullpen coach Alan Mills.
“Some good,” Showalter said. “He was more consistent with his velocity than at any time, I can tell you that. A couple of throwing errors by him didn’t help his cause. Had a tough inning or two, but was good last two or three innings. Retired a bunch of guys in a row.
“He was at a level there where they’re kind of swinging at anything that’s moving sometimes. He’s scheduled to pitch Sunday for Norfolk right now. We’ll see what happens.”
Donnie Hart is in the bullpen again tonight while in his seventh stint with the club this season. He’s accepted life on the shuttle and the instructions he receives upon his departures that are intended to increase his chances of another promotion.
“Donnie gets it,” Showalter said. “He knows exactly - I wouldn’t say a short conversation - but he controls it. He goes down there and pitches well, he comes back. There’s always going to be a need. He’s on the roster. It’s an easy up and down. He can pitch on multiple days.
“We needed length. We had a bunch of guys last night that we were going to stay away from. He understands it. And just about every time he goes down there he does the things that make him worthy of coming back.”
Update: Giancarlo Stanton’s two-out single in the third inning scored Aaron Judge and gave the Yankees a 1-0 lead, but they weren’t done. Greg Bird hit a grand slam later in the inning and Dylan Bundy already has thrown 78 pitches.
Update II: Tyler Wade led off the sixth inning with his first career home run to give New York a 6-0 lead.
Update III: Austin Romine homered off Jhan Maríñez, making his Orioles debut, in the seventh inning to increase the lead to 7-0.
Update IV: Donnie Hart replaced Maríñez in the eighth and his fielding error let an inherited runner score to give New York an 8-0 lead.