Last year the Baltimore Orioles were a difficult team to watch, but somehow in late September the Orioles were only a few games behind the Boston Red Sox for first place in the division. They had once again trumped the talking heads and were playing meaningful baseball in September. It was the last regular season series ever against Papi, and it was at Camden Yards.
A lot was on the line, but Showalter isn’t afraid to tinker with the team late in the season. The O’s manager decided to put a hard-hitting first baseman in the lineup as a DH. Trey Mancini was making his MLB debut in in the heart of a playoff race.
I can’t remember exactly where I heard the news that Mancini was getting a shot. I remember it being one of the few times I’ve questioned Buck Showalter. Why would Buck, during the most important series of the season, bring in some nobody from Bowie to play in a must-win game?
Maybe because Mancini had hit 51 home run’s in the last three years.
But the Orioles have a big time, powerhouse line up. They don’t need another guy to just put the ball over the fence, they need to find someone who can get on base.
So maybe it’s because in the last four years, only once (2014) did Mancini hit below .300. He had 69 doubles, 11 triples, and walked 89 times the past two seasons in Bowie and Norfolk.
Like so many times before, Buck was ten steps ahead of all of us. Trey Mancini hit a bomb that night and the only thing more spectacular than the hit was his mother in the stands losing her mind with excitement.
Mancini is continuing to impress this season, like on Wednesday night when he hit two home runs in Fenway. So what do you do with a promising young first baseman when Chris Davis is a newly signed fan favorite?
Trade Chris Davis
Chris Davis signed for 180 million dollars that the O’s wouldn’t mind having back to sign Machado. Despite all the complaints about strikeouts, 219 last season, he still hit 38 home runs and had 84 RBI’s.
Davis is starting the season well also. Two of his 10 hits are doubles and he’s hit 2 home runs in two weeks. And if we’re being honest, he doesn’t get the credit he deserves defensively at first base. He has made Machado look good plenty of times. You think there isn’t a market for a guy like that?
The Orioles pulled out all the stops to sign Davis and that was more important than actually signing him. The city and the players needed to know the team was willing to be aggressive when it mattered. Once word spread, the City came together to help the team sign Davis. Jimmy’s seafood offered him and his family free crab cakes for life. That kind of local support doesn’t go unnoticed in the clubhouse.
Everything from this moment on needs to be dedicated to securing potentially the most valuable free agent ever in Manny Machado and Trey Mancini may be the answer. With Chris Davis’ money back, or at least some of it, the Orioles become true contenders against the Yankees for the platinum glove third basemen. It won’t happen today or tomorrow but if Mancini keeps producing and having quality at-bats and the Orioles want to keep Machado in Baltimore, they are going to have to make a decision.