Mullins and Mountcastle have impressed Hyde this season; Manager gives pressing Mancini a day off - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Mullins and Mountcastle have impressed Hyde this season; Manager gives pressing Mancini a day off

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

It’s the time of the year to begin contemplating end-of-season awards. While the Most Valuable Player award has been conceded to the Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher/hitter Shohei Ohtani, with Toronto’s Vladimir Guerrero Jr. heading for runner-up, it’s conceivable that Orioles centerfielder Cedric Mullins could get votes.

Mullins enters Tuesday’s game against the Blue Jays fourth in the American League with a .306 average and tied with Guerrero for the league lead with 150 hits. He’s fifth among AL position players with a 5.0 WAR.

There are several candidates for Rookie of the Year, and Ryan Mountcastle is among them. Mountcastle leads the Orioles with 25 home runs, one ahead of Mullins, and his 73 RBIs puts him ahead of his teammates.

Manager Brandon Hyde said Mullins and Mountcastle have stood out during a difficult season.

“Cedric Mullins, obviously a great year,” Hyde said. “Mountcastle, I’ve really been impressed with Ryan. I’m seeing a young major leaguer make improvements in his second year, both offensively and defensively. The quality of the at-bats he’s taken the last couple of months, how hard he hits the balls, the athleticism, the power that’s really starting to show up.”

Mountcastle needs four home runs in the final 32 games to set the Orioles’ record for most home runs by a rookie. Cal Ripken hit 28 in 1982.

“He hits a lot of balls hard at people, especially as of late,” Hyde said.

Mountcastle received a third-place vote for Rookie of the Year last season when he played 35 of the Orioles’ 60 games. He had 126 at-bats, four short of the 130 that would have erased his rookie status.

Mullins should become the first Oriole to receive MVP votes since Jonathan Schoop finished 12th in 2017.

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“In this tough year, I think those are two bright spots for us, going forward, potential impact hitters in the lineup,” Hyde said.

Mancini gets support: After missing the 2020 season because of colon cancer surgery and chemotherapy, Trey Mancini is not in the lineup for Tuesday’s game.

Mancini, who has played 124 of the Orioles’ 130 games, has the same batting average, .256, for the second half of the season that he had at the All-Star break, but his power numbers are down.

He has hit just four homers and driven in nine runs in 38 games since the break. Mancini hit 16 home runs and drove in 55 in the first half of the season.

“I think whatever Trey Mancini has given us this year is an absolute bonus from what he went through last year,” Hyde said. “I don’t think anybody had any understanding of what this year was going to be. For him to be in the lineup, 90-plus percent of the time is a credit to him. It shows a lot about his character and how much he wants to be out there.

“He hasn’t had a good couple of months, and he’s putting so much pressure on himself, and he’s taking it extremely hard, and we constantly have to remind what his world looked like a year ago. I’m giving hm a day off today because he’s so hard on himself and feels like he needs to produce. I’m just happy to see him on a daily basis.”

Notes: Hyde said he’ll add a fifth starter after Thursday’s offday to replace Spenser Watkins, who was sent to Triple-A Norfolk after Sunday’s game. He didn’t specify who it will be. The Orioles will add two players on Wednesday when the roster expands to 28. Left-hander Alexander Wells, who has started three games, is with the taxi squad and is expected to be added.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Johnnypoff

    August 31, 2021 at 6:16 pm

    God bless Mancini. I know he is struggling right now but it is just so wonderful to have him back on the field this year and to be in good health. That Home Run Derby appearance was so inspiring also. Love Trey!

  2. Boog Robinson Robinson

    August 31, 2021 at 7:23 pm

    Love Cedric the centerfielder. I’ve been in his corner since following him via the Bowie box scores a few years ago right thru his demotion during year one. Cedric is a keeper.

    BUT

    Ryan Mountcastle is an absolute stud. Forget last year. He played well, but 35 games in only a few more than they used to play years ago in spring training. The year is 2020 …. and he’s just a rookie, and yet look at what he’s doing. Can’t tell you what his silly numbers like exit velo are, but I CAN tell you he’s pounding the ball. Everybody here that watches most nights can tell you the same. Just imagine him when he’s figured it all out.

    Given another year or two, his name is going to be mentioned alongside the Guerrero & Tatis Jrs, the Bellingers,Sotos and Acunas. If he pitched, maybe even Ohtani. This young man will be the next League MVP wearing the Cartoon Bird on his hat.

    Now I don’t think I’m saying anything that any of you haven’t thought before either. He crushes la pelota muy hardo. A future superstar.

    Thank you Dan Duquette!
    Drink the Kool Aid!

    • DcOsfan

      August 31, 2021 at 10:28 pm

      Totally agree on your assessment of Mountcastle and your earlier criticism of holding him back.
      On another note is it too much to hope the lightbulb has gone on in Akin’s head?

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        August 31, 2021 at 10:57 pm

        We can all hope he’ll figure it out, but frankly, his stuff seems pretty average at best to this untrained eye.

        And yeah …with average stuff, I guess his best chance is to conquer the mental side of pitching. (not that I actually understand what that is)

  3. The Bird1

    August 31, 2021 at 9:10 pm

    All the M guys are keepers, to build around. Hopefully we can begin to add more and more pieces to supplement them, especially to the pitching staff……speaking of which, how can we give up a homer every game to Guerrero.

  4. Buzz1979

    August 31, 2021 at 9:22 pm

    2 highlights of the season, Mullins and Mountcastle proving they are major league players, and MAYBE a light at the end of the tunnel for Keegster?!

    • CalsPals

      September 1, 2021 at 7:41 am

      Still hoping it’s not an oncoming train, fingers crossed…go O’s…

  5. Buzz1979

    August 31, 2021 at 10:46 pm

    Scope, there it is, MVP votes? Seems like eons ago!

  6. Buzz1979

    August 31, 2021 at 11:14 pm

    Johnny Hustle, with HR #246, now tied for 246th all time….yes, I am bored!

  7. 33d St

    September 1, 2021 at 6:55 am

    Of all the Orioles who should not be rough on themselves its Mancini. I hope he’s able to get his mind back at peace soon and just play his natural game again.

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