Seemingly everybody likes a comeback story. A living proof got here on the primary day of Main League Baseball’s exhibition season final month.
The Baltimore Orioles hosted the Pittsburgh Pirates within the Grapefruit League opener at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, Fla. Orioles first baseman/outfielder Trey Mancini stepped to the plate within the backside of the primary inning and obtained a giant ovation from the socially distanced crowd.
Mancini missed your complete pandemic-shortened 2020 season after present process surgical procedure for colon most cancers. The 29-year-old’s most cancers is now in remission.
Mancini is amongst many gamers poised to make a run at Comeback Participant of the Yr honors in 2021.
In 2019, Mancini had one of the best season of his four-year profession and was a vibrant spot for an Orioles staff that misplaced 108 video games. He hit 35 residence runs and drove in 97 runs in 154 video games whereas batting .291/.364/.535.
Mancini, who has a $4.75-million wage this yr, has hit not less than 24 homers in every of his three full main league seasons. The Orioles search for him to function the anchor in a younger lineup in 2022.
And, by the way in which, Mancini singled in that first at-bat.
Here’s a take a look at 4 different main leaguers trying to bounce again in 2021:
The 2-time American League Cy Younger Award winner is making an attempt to get his profession again on monitor with the New York Yankees. He signed a one-year, $11-million contract as a free agent within the offseason.
Kluber, 34, was restricted to at least one inning final yr in his lone season with Texas. He tore a shoulder muscle in his Rangers debut.
Kluber made simply seven begins for the Cleveland Indians in 2019 as his season ended Could 1 when he sustained a fractured proper forearm when struck by a line drive off the bat of the Miami Marlins’ Brian Anderson.
The Yankees are banking on Kluber to be a key a part of their rebuilt rotation behind ace Gerrit Cole and fellow newcomer Jameson Taillon, who’s making his personal comeback after lacking final season with the Pirates whereas recovering from Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgical procedure.
After successful the 2019 AL Rookie of the Yr award, Alvarez performed in simply two video games with the Houston Astros final season. The designated hitter wound up having surgical procedure on each knees.
Alvarez performed a giant hand within the Astros reaching the World Collection in 2019 for the second time in three years. In simply 87 video games, he had 27 homers and 78 RBIs whereas hitting .313/.412/.655.
Nonetheless simply 23 years previous, the Astros consider Alvarez may be considered one of their key gamers for years to return. He’s additionally nonetheless a cut price as his wage will probably be near the key league minimal of $570,500 this season as he doesn’t but have the requisite service time to be eligible for wage arbitration.
The Washington right-hander is among the greatest pitchers within the sport when he’s wholesome as he confirmed in 2019 in lifting the Nationals to the primary World Collection title in franchise historical past along with his October heroics.
Nonetheless, Strasburg has additionally had 10 stints on the harm record throughout his 11-year profession. He made simply two begins in 2020 earlier than underdoing season-ending carpal tunnel surgical procedure to alleviate numbness in his pitching hand.
Within the second yr of a seven-year, $175-million contract, Strasburg has felt no in poor health results from the surgical procedure this spring. Nonetheless, he has been slowed by tightness in his left calf that precipitated him to overlook a Grapefruit League begin.
Not a lot has been seen of the Haniger because the Seattle Mariners proper fielder had an All-Star season in 2018.
Haniger appeared in simply 63 video games in 2019 then missed your complete 2020 season. For the reason that final time he stepped on the sector in a daily season sport, Haniger has had surgical procedures to restore a ruptured testicle, torn core muscle and ruptured disc in his again.
The rebuilding Mariners consider they’re posed to take a step ahead this season and are hopeful the 29-year-old Haniger can spark their offense from the leadoff spot within the batting order. He has a $3.01-million wage.