“It was not anything I was concerned about whatsoever,’’ Mancini said. “I mean, I have 20-something at-bats. You have to look at it that way.”
Mancini said he was probably lucky to still be at the plate when he launched his solo shot off Pittsburgh Pirates right-hander Chris Archer to lead off the fourth inning of the Orioles’ 7-5 loss at LECOM Park.
“I kind of got a call to go my way right before that on a check swing that I thought was borderline at best possibly,” he said. “Yeah, I had another chance and took advantage.”
Manager Brandon Hyde was happy to see Mancini leave the yard, but he wasn't stressing about his young outfielder’s spring batting average or the fact that he had just one RBI in his first 28 at-bats.
“Trey, for the last week, has been swinging the bat [well],’’ Hyde said. “I was going to give him one more AB, but I wanted him to end the day with how he was swinging the bat there … He has really come on the last week.”
Mancini agreed that he is getting more comfortable at the plate and is doing so at just the right time.
“I definitely am feeling better, especially as the game goes on, you see more pitches and then you get a little more confident about what you’re doing,” he said. “I feel like I’m in a good place right now mechanically. I’m thinking a lot less about that up at the plate and just kind of going up there and hitting.”
He missed several games earlier this month with a bruised pinkie finger, but said he doesn’t feel that he needs much more time to be ready for the start of the regular season.
“It’s all kind of about timing … about how you’re feeling,” Mancini said. “Game one of spring training, you feel great and you just want the season to start then, and there are times when you kind of need the whole spring. It’s nice to have a whole month to get at-bats under your belt. In a week, we’ll be ready to go, I think.”
Mancini was asked about his goals for this year, but he didn’t throw out any numbers.
“I’m thinking more like about the team aspect. I want to be more of a leader — someone the guys can look up to, especially the guys in their first year being here. I think if you have a mentality like that and we all just want to help each other out and put good at-bats together as a unit, you’ll be where you want to be personally at the end of the year.
“I just want to go out there and play hard and be consistent especially. There were a lot of ups and downs last year and sometimes I let the slumps drag on. I think I’m better equipped this year to handle those head-on and get out of them more quickly.”
Read more from columnist Peter Schmuck on his blog, "The Schmuck Stops Here," at baltimoresun.com/schmuckblog.