Mancini's sore right hand returns him to bench role (and other notes)

MINNEAPOLIS – Trey Mancini is out of tonight’s lineup due to soreness in his right hand that necessitated a cortisone injection and the standard waiting period before trying to play.

Toronto’s Alek Manoah nailed Mancini with a 91 mph sinker on June 13. Mancini was hit on the left hand by a Lance Lynn pitch with the bases loaded in a June 25 game in Chicago, but it’s the previous incident that’s keeping him on the bench.

Mancini sat at his locker this afternoon with the hand wrapped, his eight-game hitting streak put on hold.

“I say I got hit, I swung at the pitch in Toronto,” Mancini said, still agitated by a sequence that resulted in an out after the ball rolled up the third base line. “Obviously have had some hand issues a little bit lingering since then, and we found a carpal boss whenever we scanned it, and we think that just me getting hit in the hand exacerbated that a little bit.

“Nothing crazy or major at all, but I got an injection for it a couple days ago and we just wanted to wait until tomorrow, give it 72 hours to play a full game.”

A carpometacarpal boss is a firm and immobile bony lump on the wrist where the finger bones meet the bones of the arm. Mancini did an internet search earlier to get more information.

“It’s inflammation on the bone in your hand,” Mancini said, adding that the pitch might have aggravated it.

The left hand is “fine,” Mancini said. The right hand might not prevent him from batting tonight if there’s a key moment in the game that calls for a pinch-hitter.

“Should be good to go from here on out,” he said. “Just tried to nip it in the bud instead of kind of having it linger.”

Mancini said he’s felt the discomfort in his hand, but it hasn’t kept him from handling the bat. He’s been able to play through it.

“It’s nothing that I think about when I’m up at the plate and stuff,” he said. “It’s kind of got to the point where it wasn’t getting too much better. It’s been more of an annoyance than anything. I’m cutting off my swing maybe a tiny bit because of it, I think, but again, I’m sacrificing today just to hopefully from here on out not have it be an issue any longer, was the thought behind me not playing today.”

Mancini ran in the outfield earlier today just to be active. He didn’t want to spend the day sitting in the clubhouse.

Tuesday’s lineup didn’t include Mancini, and the Orioles were off yesterday.

“It’s just sore, it hurts, and just trying to give him a little bit of time,” said manager Brandon Hyde.

“He wants to be in there in a big spot tonight, to come off the bench, and I’m hoping it feels good enough to play tomorrow.”

Hyde checks on Mancini daily, respecting the first baseman’s desire to play but also doing what’s best for him.

“I give him a lot of credit for trying to grind through,” Hyde said. “He got hit on both hands in a short amount of time. You need your hands, and when your hands aren't feeling good, it’s hard to hit, so I give him credit for trying to post. Got an eight-game hitting streak with a couple of sore hands.

“Just needs a little bit of time. He got some treatment today. Hopefully, he’s able to hit for us if we need him in a big spot.”

Mancini has noted how teams are pitching him inside more, and he’s been hit seven times, one fewer than in 2021 and two fewer than in 2019.

“We get hit up a lot,” Hyde said. “You look around the league, it’s one of those things that’s happening right now. But people definitely try to get him in up off the plate, and you understand why. He does damage. He dives a little bit. You don’t want big guys to get extended on you, and maybe some guys’ command isn’t quite as good.”

Mancini finished eighth among American League designated hitters in the first round of All-Star voting. Austin Hays fell out of the top 20 outfielders on the ballot.

“It’s disappointing, but as we get better as a club, we’ll start getting recognized a little bit more nationally,” Hyde said. “I’d like to see Hays get recognized, like to see Trey get recognized. Hopefully some of our bullpen guys are going to start getting recognized and selected, because they’ve earned it.

“Jorge López deserves to be on that team hands down. But yeah, I would have liked to have seen some of our guys finish a little higher. (Ryan) Mountcastle finish higher than he did. I think as our club gets better, you’re going to start seeing more fans vote for him.”

López has posted a 0.73 ERA and 0.811 WHIP with 39 strikeouts in 37 innings. Six of his 13 saves have required more than three outs.

“Just look at his numbers, what he’s done for us,” Hyde said. “More multiple-inning saves than anybody in the big leagues. He’s in the top five category in any sort of pitching metric out of the bullpen that you can look at.

“And I’m putting him in the toughest spots possible. There have been so many nights I’ve put him in the eighth inning when we need a big out or two and he’s got the job done, and he goes back out for the ninth. That’s very, very rare. Closers don’t do that all the time and he’s done that for the majority of the year.”

López enjoys his new role. He doesn’t miss being in the rotation and the Orioles won’t return him to it.

“I love the way that he’s competitive and how he’s competing out of the bullpen, and he wants the ball. Asks me if he can pitch almost every single game,” Hyde said.

“He’s been through a lot, he’s dealt with so much adversity. To see him have some success, it feels great.”

Infielder Ramón Urías, on the injured list with a left oblique strain, is set to begin a rehab assignment with Double-A Bowie, perhaps as early as Saturday.

Kyle Bradish, on the IL with right shoulder inflammation, threw on flat ground today and will have a bullpen session within the next few days.

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