Orioles outfielder Trey Mancini underwent surgery to remove a malignant tumor from his colon on March 12, the day that Major League Baseball ended spring training because of the coronavirus pandemic.
General manager Mike Elias said on a Zoom conference call on Monday that he’s been speaking with Mancini.
“He’s doing well,” Elias said. “He’s got a major procedure and a major life event. The recovery is a long one, and it’s a serious one. His health status personally, the way that the operation went and the demographics age-wise and health-wise that he resides in going into this puts him in a really good spot to make a 100 percent recovery both from a general health standpoint, but also a baseball sense.
“It is going to take some time, and he is going to be out for months rather than weeks.”
Elias said that Mancini, who has not spoken with the media since the procedure, would be speaking soon and providing more details.
“With us not knowing what or when this season will start and end, it’s really hard for me to put his recovery timeline in the context of the baseball season right now,” Elias said.
“We’re totally confident in the outcome and his eventual comeback.”
Elias said that he’s been reading about the various scenarios for starting the season.
“You don’t know what to think,” he said. “We’re really trying to play. The players want to play, and the league wants to play, but we’re also, all of us, very mindful of what the priorities are right now, and that’s public health. That topic is going to have to be addressed in a satisfactory way before we can conceivably play.
“It doesn’t mean you can’t plan, start to think. I like the fact that we’re hearing ideas. People in the league offices and across sports are working on scenarios for baseball to come back this year because we really want to be a part of a feeling of normal life.
“We think sports will mean a lot to people, especially in this period of time, to have something to follow, even though it’s just sports and it’s entertainment … I think it’ll mean a lot when it comes back.”
One of the proposed plans involves teams returning to their spring training sites in Florida and Arizona and playing in empty stadiums, at least to begin the season.
Elias said that he thinks Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota would be an acceptable venue, if necessary.
“I think our first choice, all of us, will be to play with fans somewhere, and up north versus down south,” Elias said. “I’d think we’d all prefer it to be at home, but this isn’t a normal situation. We’re going to presumably have to take what we can get.
“If that’s what comes first, I would think our spring training facility could host major league baseball. We do it in March and February under normal circumstances. That’s all just speculation right now.”
Elias said he discusses possibilities with other general managers.
“The problem is, we just can’t make a lot of decisions just because we don’t know what the circumstances are,” Elias said. “That’s totally to be expected right now. Before we get to sports, there are a lot of things that need to be decided. We’re all kind of game-planning, speculatively.”
Other than the draft, which was scheduled for June 10-12, there’s not much Elias can plan for.
“In terms of what and when major and minor league baseball looks like, it’s too early to plan,” he said.