Orioles left fielder Trey Mancini was out of the starting lineup Saturday with a sore, swollen and stitched-up right knee he injured when sliding into a wall pursuing a ball in foul ground the previous night. But the team doesn’t believe Mancini will require a stint on the disabled list.
While chasing Yonder Alonso’s foul fly ball down the left-field line in the eighth inning of the Orioles’ 3-1 win over the Cleveland Indians, Mancini crashed into the wall, hitting his knee on a part of it that didn’t have protective padding and was exposed brick. He also required stitches for a gash caused by the impact and manager Buck Showalter indicated Mancini would be able to play with the stitches in.
Mancini had X-rays taken that revealed no structural damage and also had a CT scan to ensure the gash didn’t reach the bone and that he wasn’t at a risk of infection. The CT scan was also negative. Mancini is considered day to day.
“It’s really sore today,” Mancini said. “Just four inches or so under the wall that isn’t padded is what my knee hit. Obviously doesn’t feel too good but luckily avoiding anything serious — no tears or break. Just had to get a couple stitches. It’s just really swollen today and it’s tough to bend my knee. But I’m hoping in a couple days it’ll be good. The second I feel like I can play, I’ll be back out there.”
Mancini hopes he can return quickly once the swelling recedes.
“At least I didn’t go in with a straight knee or anything like that,” he said. “I think that would have been more susceptible to a tear. … I was just trying to make the play there and came up to the wall a little quicker than I expected.”
Showalter said he was willing to wait several days for Mancini to be ready without placing him on the DL despite it limiting the team to a two-man bench.
“I’d be comfortable waiting on Trey to have him in six days to wait four. He’s worth waiting on,” Showalter said. “We won’t move on that quickly unless there’s another injury or something, even pitching-wise. So I think we’ll take it as it comes, but we don’t think at this point it’s a DL injury.
“He’s actually lucky. We’re lucky.”
Britton progresses with first PFP drills
Orioles closer Zach Britton performed pitchers fielding practice drills at simulated game speed and participated in running agility drills before Saturday’s game, marking another significant step in his recovery from a ruptured right Achilles tendon.
Britton first tested his foot by breaking off the mound, then fielded bunts down the first and third base lines following by drills covering first base.
“I think today more so than any other day was the biggest jump for me, knowing that I could go off the mound,” Britton said. “I know it’s not game speed, but you try to simulate that as much as you can. But being able to stop, plant, throw, run, touch first base, was big for me. … Just kind of eased into it first and then got a little bit, picked up the intensity a little bit. And then after we were done there, we went through a circuit of agilities with [strength coaches] Ryo [Naito] and Joe Hogarty, just kind of some other things that maybe I’d have to do coming off the mound.
“So everything was good. A little tired afterward, but that’s kind of how you feel anyway after the first day of spring when you do PFPs all day, which is a good sign. I feel really good. No reservations on touching first or anything, so I feel normal.”
For the first time since the injury, Britton performed the drill that he was injured on, running a sprint coming out of a shuffle, which he said was a major mental hurdle to overcome.
“That was maybe the biggest thing for me today,” Britton said. “It was good. Those are the things that I think mean more to me than actually when they put you on the mound. I think that’s going to be fine. I think it’s reacting to ground balls and just being normal again.”
Britton will pitch his second bullpen session from a half-mound Sunday — Friday was his first — before working toward throwing off a full mound and eventually going on a minor league rehabilitation assignment.
The Orioles haven’t officially given a timetable for Britton’s return, but Showalter said he can be back shortly after his 60-day eligibility date on May 28, possibly as early as June 1.
“Doing the PFP, I think things like that make him realize how many things he has to do to get back to being ready to compete up here,” Showalter said. “It’s going to be a long process. It’s not the Achilles — it’s the arm, it’s the legs. There’s a lot of things that need to come to pass. So I’m real comfortable with the time frame and I think he’s got a chance to make early June.”
Orioles pitching prospect Cody Sedlock was scheduled to see team orthopedist Dr. Michael Jacobs on Saturday for the right shoulder strain that landed him on the seven-day minor league disabled list a day earlier.
Sedlock, who went on the DL twice last year for elbow ploblems that required a platelet-rich plasma injection, has a 13.50 ERA in three starts at High-A Frederick and complained of a sore shoulder after his most recent outing Thursday, when he allowed six runs on three hits, four walks and a hit batter over 1 1/3 innings.
Around the horn
Designated hitter/outfielder Mark Trumbo performed base-running drills before Saturday’s game and could still restart his rehab assignment in the upcoming days. … There’s still no timetable for when second baseman Jonthan Schoop (right oblique strain) could return. “You’re so careful, but it’s one of those injuries,” Showalter said. “What do you do? Go test it and then you have to go back to square one because you tested it?”