I’m drawing closer to again making it through an offseason without running out of material. There were some narrow escapes along the way, especially with no media access to minicamp, but here we are, days away from the steady flow of spring training reports.
I’m sitting on some leftovers, which can get messy. A comfortable chair would make more sense.
“He’s a really impressive kid,” Mancini said. “Came up from Day One and wasn’t scared, wasn’t timid at all and gave it 100 percent every game. So that’s what he does and he can cover a lot of ground out there. I really like what I saw from him last year.”
Mancini said he isn’t changing his approach at the plate after rediscovering his stroke following the break, with assistance from veteran Mark Trumbo.
“Just kind of sticking with what I did in the second half,” he said. “I think I tried to tinker too much last offseason and changed a couple things up and probably didn’t need to do that, so I kind of went back to just what I know how to do and I’ve been still doing that.”
It seems safe to project Mancini as the left fielder and Mullins as the center fielder. DJ Stewart could compete for the job in right after making his major league debut in September.
Is Stewart better in right or left?
“Anywhere you want to put me,” he replied. “I can play any of them.”
He won’t replace Mullins in center, but, yes, a corner spot is in play. But let’s see whether another outfielder is signed or acquired via trade before the Orioles break camp.
Trumbo will be the designated hitter on opening day if his recovery from knee surgery stays on schedule. He sounded optimistic at FanFest.
It might be the only goal he’s set.
“Numbers-wise, not exactly,” he said. “I’d like to get healthy and stay healthy. That’s the No. 1 thing. I’m not much use to anybody on the disabled list. And I think being too aggressive with things early on, if we’re talking about the springtime, I really want to get it right and not do what I did last year.”
Trumbo would love to forget the professional side of 2018. The injuries, surgery and 115 losses that led the majors and set a franchise record.
“Yeah, the whole thing was kind of tough,” he said. “If you’re asking personally, kind of an injury-filled year. The bat was actually OK. But the stopping and starting and the rehabbing, in addition to the team obviously struggling, there’s not a ton of good takeaways. I think that’s why everyone is really excited to start something new.”
The Orioles announced their minor league staffs Friday long after finalizing the major league side. We’ve known for more than three weeks that Doug Brocail was chosen to replace Roger McDowell as pitching coach. And much longer that John Wasdin would switch from minor league pitching coordinator to bullpen coach.
They were teammates with the Rangers. Brocail likes and trusts Wasdin. And he’s been through a rebuilding process in the Astros organization.
Baltimore seems like a great landing spot.
“Not only do I have the geniuses from Houston, I have John Wasdin, who knows all the guys. And that’s the biggest fight,” Brocail said.
“This is a ‘we’ thing. I’m going to lean hard on John because he knows everybody.”
First base coach Arnie Beyeler, who also will serve as outfield instructor, has returned to the American League East after handling the same roles for the Red Sox from 2013-15. He spent the past three seasons as manager at Triple-A New Orleans.
“It’s very exciting to be back in the big leagues,” he said. “I had a great run over there with Boston while I was there for 10 years and the last three in the big leagues, but when you’re losing in the big leagues, it’s not a lot of fun.
“I’m excited to be back and excited to be back with some young players. It was a lot of fun being over there when Mookie (Betts) was young and Jackie (Bradley Jr.) was young and being with those guys, but we didn’t win a lot of games with those guys while we were over there. When you’ve got young players it’s tough to win games, but it’ll be fun to be around the young guys to develop again and hopefully in a few years really see them develop into superstar-type players. It will be a lot of fun.”