The start date of the 2020 MLB season remains in question, but if we have baseball anytime soon, the Baltimore Orioles will be taking the field without slugger Trey Mancini. The club announced Monday night that Mancini is recovering from surgery last month to have a malignant tumor removed from his colon.
However, the Orioles are also saying that Mancini’s recovery will be a long one, meaning it’ll be months rather than weeks until he’s able to play baseball.
The 28-year-old Mancini is coming off a breakout season in which he hit .291 with an OPS of .899. He set new career-highs with 35 home runs and 38 doubles. His 3.6 Wins Above Replacement put him among the top-10 outfielders in the majors last season.
Heading into 2020, Mancini appeared to be in line to be Baltimore’s primary right fielder and arguably their most important middle-of-the-order hitter.
However, Mancini struggled with illness throughout spring training. Eventually, he underwent a colonoscopy that revealed a malignant tumor on his colon. Mancini left the Orioles on March 7 to attend to his health issues.
His surgery to remove the tumor was on March 12, which was the same day that MLB suspended spring training and delayed the start of the season. Mancini’s serious and personal health issue, to some extent, was lost in the shuffle of a nation-wide public health crisis.
On The Road Back
The good news is that Mancini is on the road to recovery and has a good prognosis from doctors.
“He’s doing well,” Orioles GM Mike Elias said of Mancini during a conference call Monday night. “He had a major procedure and a major life event.
“His recovery is a long one and a serious one, but his health status, personally, the way the operation went and the demographics — age and health-wise — he resides in put him in a really good spot to make a 100 percent recovery from both a general health standpoint and a baseball sense. But it’s going to take some time.”
Elias also made sure to say that Mancini’s full recovery would be measured using “months rather than weeks.” His return to baseball is further complicated by the current pandemic.
A little over a month removed from surgery for a malignant growth, Mancini could be more vulnerable than the average big leaguer if he were to return to the Baltimore clubhouse. Of course, even in the best-case scenario, it would be another month or two until any MLB teams start to re-assemble to begin the 2020 season.
At the moment, Mancini’s 2020 season might be even more in doubt that the MLB season as a whole. If we do have baseball this season, the Orioles will likely be playing without Mancini, at least at the start of the season.
Even in a normal season, he might not be projected to return until late in the summer. That would be a massive blow to the Orioles, as Mancini is one of the players they can least afford to be without.
But in the big picture, Mancini being on the road to recovery after a serious health scare is good news for the Orioles and all of baseball.
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