SARASOTA, FLA. — Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said that after Monday's day off, Trey Mancini would start to get more playing time at first base this spring to prepare him for the possibility that left field wouldn't be his only position come Opening Day.
"He's going to play first on Tuesday," Hyde said. "Trey's going to start working in at first base a little bit more, as well as playing in the outfield. You're going to see guys move around a little bit more, just to get guys acclimated for when the season comes and I don't put them in a spot where they haven't been over there. You're going to see that with a lot of guys."
First base has been a position largely filled by players who don't play that spot primarily as starter Chris Davis has been out this week with a hip flexor injury. Ryan Mountcastle started working at the position earlier this spring, but reps there have also gone to Rio Ruiz, Renato Núñez and Stevie Wilkerson — all players whose usual positions are elsewhere on the diamond.
Mancini will go in that category, Hyde said, indicating it wasn't a contingency plan for not having Davis.
"Mancini's at first because you want to have versatility on your roster, and having the guy be able to play in different spots and feel comfortable — his natural position is first base. That's why I wasn't in a rush to get him over there. I want to get him a ton of reps in left field first, then ease into first base, and that should be an easy transition for him because he's done it his whole life. It's just having your roster be versatile and having guys play all over the place."
First base starts could also come Mancini's way if Mark Trumbo (knee) isn't able to start the season with the club, meaning one of Davis or Mancini could be the designated hitter with the other at first base, freeing up an outfield spot for one of the Orioles' well-regarded young outfielders. Davis won't move around the diamond, as Hyde said he wants him to "focus on his offense and play first base.
"I think anybody is a candidate to get DH at-bats, yeah," Hyde said. "If Mark's not ready, then it'll be a night-to-night on who's going to be the DH."
New dad Cobb simulates game
Right-hander Alex Cobb pitched a four-inning simulated game before Sunday's date with the Philadelphia Phillies to get back on the mound after missing a few days of camp for the birth of his daughter Friday night.
"Cobb looked great," Hyde said. "I watched the first few innings and the ball is coming out great. Looks great. Obviously, he's got a little fatigue from lack of sleep the last few nights, but I think he's happy with how he threw."
Around the horn
The Orioles will start Mike Wright on Tuesday night against the New York Yankees, with John Means, Nate Karns, Mychal Givens and Richard Bleier also making the trip to pitch. Yankees reliever Zack Britton is scheduled to pitch against his former team that night. ... Hyde said Dylan Bundy was "battling himself" as he didn't complete two innings in his start Saturday.