Orioles right fielder Trey Mancini made a hasty departure from Saturday’s game against the Twins after sustaining a hand/wrist injury on a foul ball. In the first inning, Mancini faced off against José Berríos and appeared to strike a 91.7-m.p.h. fastball into foul territory, but a closer look at the tape revealed that the ball had ricocheted off the top of his hands. Two pitches later, he skied a ball to right field for his 39th hit of the season — still the highest mark among American League batters so far in 2019.
Upon reaching first base, Mancini was attended to by a team trainer and later left the game. He was replaced by pinch-runner Hanser Alberto, who moved to second base in the bottom of the inning while Stevie Wilkerson shifted from second base to right field. The club has yet to formally announce the nature and severity of Mancini’s injury.
Still, it’s been a terrific season for the 27-year-old outfielder so far in 2019, especially as he’s coming off of some career-worst totals with Baltimore last year. Entering Saturday’s game, Mancini held a .349/.400/.615 batting line with six homers, 14 RBI, and a 1.015 OPS through 120 plate appearances and was working to extend an eight-game hitting streak.
The Orioles are currently tied 1-1 with the Twins in the fourth.
SAN DIEGO — We spend a lot of time on these pages criticizing Major League Baseball’s decisions. And yeah, they make a lot of questionable decisions (or logical decisions which serve questionable motives). But in the past day or so they’ve certainly gotten a couple of things right.
First was what we posted about last night: MLB moving to take marijuana off the banned substance list for minor leaguers. This, combined with the recent report that MLB/MLBPA are moving to a treatment, as opposed to a punishment-based regimen for opioids, shows that sense, as opposed to hysteria and optics, is beginning to move to the fore when it comes to baseball’s drug policies. It’s certainly welcome.
Also reported last night — by Kendall Rogers of the website d1baseball.com — Major League Baseball plans to move the amateur draft from the MLB Network studios in New Jersey to Omaha, Nebraska, and schedule it at just at the start of the College World Series. The move has not been officially announced yet, but I’d expect an MLB press release on it before we all get on our planes on Thursday morning.
It would be nicely coordinated too, Rogers says, coming just after the super regionals but before the actual CWS. This would allow the top players expected to go to all be on hand, either as players in the CWS or because, hey, they just got done and would probably be there anyway. It’s way better than putting a six guys in a green room in Secaucus. That’s always so awkward. You can tell they don’t really want to be there and don’t know what to do with themselves. In Omaha they’ll be among their friends, teammates, family, and counterparts. The atmosphere will almost certainly radically change for the better.
It’s still a very, very tall order to ever create the same level of interest in the MLB draft that exists for the NFL or NBA drafts, as the structure of college football and basketball and the fame of its stars is a totally different deal coming in. But this is a positive move forward for the baseball draft. Good job to whoever’s idea it was.