Baltimore Orioles

Orioles' Showalter, Duquette talk outfield depth, pitching, prospects in FanFest Q&A

During their question-and-answer session with season plan holders that kicked off Saturday's FanFest, Orioles manager Buck Showalter and executive vice president Dan Duquette shed some light on a few topics of interest like outfield platoons, roster construction and their plans for the rest of the offseason.

-- The first question was about rookie first baseman Trey Mancini, who slugged three home runs in the last two weeks of the 2016 season but seems to have been shoved out of the main roster picture by the return of right fielder/designated hitter Mark Trumbo.


Showalter and Duquette both said Mancini remains firmly in the team's plans, and will be part of whatever they accomplish in 2017.

"We've got him," Showalter said. "He's ours. It's not like he's going to another team or anything. It's not like he's not going to be on our club. There's a way he can make our club."


"I like Trey Mancini, too," Duquette said. "Trey Mancini can hit. He's showed that he's hit at every level. He hit and contributed to our team last year when he came up."

Duquette added that building a baseball team is all about depth, and a team with both Trumbo and Mancini is better than a team with only one of them.

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-- Showalter said the outfield platoons that Duquette has provided him with will work themselves out by the time Opening Day rolls around, but said left fielder Hyun Soo Kim is forgoing the World Baseball Classic and is already working out in Sarasota, Fla., at the club facility.

Showalter said Kim is particularly frustrated by his performance in 22 plate appearances against left-handed pitching a season ago, and is working to improve on that. Overall, the manager said the combination of Seth Smith, Joey Rickard and Kim could be sufficiently productive in 2017.

-- Duquette was asked by fans about several players, from corner outfielders like Angel Pagan to veteran pitchers like Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson, but the one he commented on directly was right-hander Vance Worley.

The Orioles nontendered Worley in December, because of a projected salary around $3 million. But Duquette said he has reached out to Worley's representatives about a return for 2017.

-- The final question was a lighthearted one, prefaced by the fan referring to Duquette and Showalter as the mother and father of the organization, with Showalter the father in that equation. The fan then asked about a return of center fielder Adam Jones' pie-in-the-face celebration after wins, and the Orioles brass turned it around on him and used his own metaphor by saying that sometimes good parents need to make decisions for the good of the family.