SARASOTA, Fla. - As he is about to begin his fourth full season in the majors, the Orioles’ Trey Mancini is way past the days of trying to make an impression in camp to win a job.
He’s got one that is secure and doesn’t need to worry about taking any spring training 0-fers. He’ll see his first spring action today, batting second in right field against Boston in a game that will be televised live on MASN.
So has his spring training approach to get ready for a season changed, now that his position in the Orioles lineup is very secure?
“Not too much,” he said in the clubhouse this morning. “No matter what, you want to try and get ready for the season and play with as high as intensity as you can. Yeah, it’s all about getting ready, and the first couple of games, it’s always kind of getting reacquainted being out in the field.
“Especially playing outfield down here is much more difficult than during the season. It’s always really bright in these stadiums, especially here. The background makes it tough to see the ball off the bat. That actually helps you I think and I’m glad it’s like that - it helps you get ready for the season and helps you focus a lot. Defense is where you get a lot of your work in and maybe try some different approaches out there to help you get ready for the year.”
Mancini hit .291/.364/.539 with 38 doubles, two triples, 35 homers, 97 RBIs and an .899 OPS last year. Mancini, who was voted Most Valuable Oriole, became the 10th different player in Orioles history to record a season with at least 30 doubles, 30 home runs and 100 runs scored. He also became the seventh in club history to produce a season with at least 35 doubles and 35 homers.
Over the next few weeks, what will let him know he is ready to start the season on March 26?
“Well, you always just want to be feeling good and comfortable at the plate,” he said. “And you always want to do well. Even in spring games. I remember last year, after the first game, I felt great and then I tried to steal second base and hurt my finger and I was out for a good 10 games. It took me a long time to get back to feeling how I was before that. Then I finally did like the last game of spring last year. So you just want to be confident in yourself and if you have a rough game or two, it’s not a big deal in the grand scheme of things. You have to think long term and know you are getting ready for the season. Just maintaining that confidence and trying to stay consistent.”
Mancini also continues in his role as a team leader again in 2020 and said this morning the team chemistry that was so good last season is still good.
“Oh, yeah, we picked up where we left off.” he said. “A ton of us have been playing together for a year now and then the new guys come in and feed right off that. It’s been great. There is such a good energy here and I’m so excited to be a part of this team.”