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Trey Mancini 'really good with' Orioles decision to send him back to Double-A Bowie

A roster crunch at the highest level of the Orioles' minor league system has left first baseman Trey Mancini, among their best hitting prospects, back in Double-A Bowie in something of a surprising decision this month.

Mancini, who won the Eastern League batting title in 84 games with the Baysox last season, said all the right things when asked about the stagnant placement to start the season.

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"The situation right now that our organization is in, we've got a lot of really good players and veteran guys that are in Triple-A," Mancini said. "The situation dictates right now that I come start the year here in Bowie. I understand that, and I'm really good with it. Wherever I am, I know I've got to hit and field well and perform, so wherever I'm asked to go, that's what I'll do."

The players in question don't have Mancini's pedigree. The first basemen in Norfolk are Joey Terdoslovich, who was outrighted off the 40-man roster this spring, and former Rule 5 pick Michael Almanzar.

But his opening-season assignment doesn't change the goal for this year.

"Making it up to Baltimore would be ideal at some point," Mancini said. "That's my goal for sure."

Manager Gary Kendall shed a little light on Mancini's mindset during the team's Media Day event Tuesday.

"Trey's a pro," Kendall said. "Sometimes, we can't control what's done above our level where decisions are made and whether they're good decisions or whatever. We have him for whatever time period for we're going to have him, and our job is to make a better baseball player to get him one step closer to the major leagues.

"I think initially, maybe he was a little — I'm not saying hurt or anything, but maybe felt he deserved to maybe get an opportunity in Triple-A," Kendall said. "But to be honest, he's a pro. He's going to be able to handle it and I don't think it'll have any ill effects for him on the field."

Last year in Bowie, Mancini arrived around the All-Star break and hit .359 with 29 doubles and 13 home runs in his Double-A debut. But he was 29 plate appearances shy of qualifying for the Eastern League batting title, so he took an 0-for-29 on his statistical line and still won the batting crown by six points.

Mancini was invited to major league spring training this year, and had two hits in 14 at-bats over 12 games before going back to the minors. Now, his task is to build on what he did in Double-A last year without putting too much pressure on himself to do so.

"I've just got to play well, and I think a big thing for me is to try to not do too much and try to repeat last year here," Mancini said. "It's a new year and just playing hard every day and going in with the same mindset that I had most of last year, I think, is the most important thing for me to move up."

"He had a wonderful season last year," Kendall said. "It's hard to duplicate those seasons, really, even if you're a great player. But Trey's a pro, and he's going to be fine. We're excited about having him, in whatever time that is, and hopefully we can get him on track and get him going to where he belongs."

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