CINCINNATI – The Orioles have used Cedric Mullins as a leadoff hitter this year and also Austin Hays. And today, in the series finale in Cincinnati, Trey Mancini is atop the Orioles batting order for the first time since June 29, 2018.
“He’s not your typical leadoff hitter, but we’re trying to find a little bit of a spark,” manager Brandon Hyde said during his pregame interview session. “Trey is swinging the bat better the last few days. It’s mainly about getting Mancini, (Adley) Rutschman and (Anthony) Santander as many at-bats as possible. You know hopefully, dropping some guys down a little can help get them going. But the main thing is getting those 3 guys up as many times.”
He joked he doesn’t need Mancini to try and turn on any speed batting at the top.
“I told him that even you do have an inside-the-parker, you do not have the green light,” Hyde said.
Mancini has actually batted leadoff 53 times in his career, although it’s been a while so he does have some experience there.
“He told me that. No he’s fine. He wants to hit. So, I think the more times he gets up to the plate, the better for him. And, yeah, just trying to get those three guys up there. They’re swinging it and they take our best at-bats. And this is a really tough left-hander (Nick Lodolo) on the moundm” Hyde said.
Hyde also talked about the struggling Ryan Mountcastle, who sat out last night. He is 1-for-17 his past four games and 2-for-31 over the last eight. In 22 games this month, Mountcastle is batting .191/.231/.298/528.
“Seeing Mounty today, he’s in good spirits. He’s scuffling. We’ve got a few guys scuffling a bit. Mounty is really important to us. Hays, it’s been rough a little bit for him. He’s important to us as well. We need to score more runs. We need to get these guys going.
“I think Mounty is in a good place mentally, just the results aren’t happening right now. And hopefully he can bounce out of this mini slump he’s in right now and we get him going.”
Hyde said Mountcastle in the past has been able to break through his struggles.
“I think Mounty has a good manner. He’s never too high or too down. I think that does help when you ride the roller coaster of a six-month season. You know I think he is pressing obviously. He wants to perform and this is a great park to hit in. He wants to deliver. So I’m not real worried about him," he said.
Meanwhile, Austin Hays this morning had some props for all the O’s fans in Cincinnati this weekend,
“They are seeing that we are turning the corner and they want to be a part of it. They want to support us and they are showing out and they are making it loud in these visiting ballparks. It’s just adding to the fire we have every night and adding to the energy this team brings," said Hays.