Very shortly the Baltimore Orioles will commence their first spring game of 2021, and with a familiar face that we didn’t see in 2020: Trey Mancini. We’ll see Mancini at first base this afternoon in the Grapefruit League opener at Ed Smith Stadium against the Pittsburgh Pirates. And what a great sight that will be.
Mancini of course sat out all of last season after being diagnosed with colon cancer. He’s completed his treatments, and is ready to play. Again, he’s starting at first base this afternoon. However it appears that he’ll platoon this season between first base, the outfield, and perhaps DH. Manager Brandon Hyde on Mancini:
I’m going to play him at first, DH him some, especially the first couple weeks. I talk to him every single day, see how he’s doing every day. We’re just going to continue to communicate and I’ll have him in there every other day for a while, whether it be at first base or DH, and we’ll see how he feels. We’ll crank up the playing time if he feels well the last couple weeksQuote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports
But the bigger story is that he’s ready to play and/or in the lineup at all. It was a tough road back for Mancini. Colon cancer is nothing to sneeze at. This moment was never guaranteed for Mancini, and I can tell you that first hand as the son of a cancer survivor. It’s a moment I’m sure that will be celebrated by his family and friends across the board.
As stated above, today is the Grapefruit League Opener for the Orioles, against the Pittsburgh Pirates, at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota. Thomas Eshelman gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Pittsburgh’s Chad Kuhl. Gametime is set for just after 1 PM.