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.
Some good news for the Nationals today: All-Star hurler Max Scherzer is due back from the injured list this week, this time (hopefully) for good. He’s slated to start during Thursday’s series finale against the Pirates.
It’s been a long road back for the right-hander, who earned his seventh consecutive All-Star designation after heading into the break with a 2.30 ERA, 5.6 fWAR, and a league-leading 7.56 SO/BB rate. An untimely back injury forced him to the injured list in the days leading up to the All-Star Game, however, and he hasn’t returned in any kind of part-time or full-time capacity since.
While Scherzer was originally expected to pitch for the Nationals sometime during their weekend series versus the Brewers, manager Dave Martinez elected to push back his return date by a few days. It’s not clear whether he felt some lingering pain during his 64-pitch simulated start on Saturday or whether the Nationals simply want to play it safe with their ace, but either way, the club apparently feels like Scherzer will be back to full strength before the end of the week.
If so, his return would be a significant asset to the Nationals, who could use a sub-3.00 ERA, 5.0-fWAR starter to help bolster their standing in the NL East. Still, there’s no guarantee that the veteran righty is ready to shoulder a full-time role in Washington’s rotation, nor is it certain that he’ll be able to match his results from the first half of the season. In one start between IL stints last month, he dealt five innings of three-run, two-walk, eight-strikeout ball in an 8-7 loss to the Rockies.