Orioles centerfielder Cedric Mullins, who became the first player in franchise history to hit 30 home runs and steal 30 bases in the same season in 2021, revealed he did it while battling Crohn’s disease.
In a short video tweeted by MLB Players Media, Mullins said that he first felt discomfort going to the bathroom in 2020, shortly after teammate Trey Mancini underwent colon cancer surgery.
“I was kind of concerned because we had just gotten the word that Trey was undergoing chemotherapy,” Mullins said. “It got to the point that I should have been keeled over with pain.”
After the 2020 season, Mullins had surgery and an estimated 10-to-15 centimeters of intestine were removed. He lost 20 pounds.
“The doubts of will I be ready? Will I be able to put it together?”
Mullins, who abandoned switch-hitting and batted exclusively left-handed in 2021, hit 30 homers and stole 30 bases and hit .291 with an .878 OPS. He started in center field for the American League in the All-Star Game after Los Angeles’ Mike Trout was injured and won the Silver Slugger Award.
“I think it’s more important for people not to be afraid to get checked out,” Mullins said. “That’s something I’ve always had a hard time doing, the ‘tough it out’ mentality, ‘it’s just a little bruise, it’s not a big deal.’ We constantly do it.”