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Cubs’ Trey Mancini brings World Collection expertise and a survivor’s perspective


When new Cubs first baseman Trey Mancini came upon that White Sox reliever Liam Hendriks had been recognized with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, he tracked down Hendriks’ cellphone quantity.

On Hendriks’ first day of therapy, Mancini, a most cancers survivor, reached out to say, “In the event you want any recommendation, I am right here.”

“Totally different chemos,” Mancini mentioned Monday. “However on the similar time, you are not going to be feeling very best everytime you’re going via it. So, I needed him to know I’ve some recommendation a minimum of on what makes you’re feeling higher throughout chemo and the way to get via it a little bit bit higher.”

The Cubs launched Mancini, who joins the group on a two-year deal value $14 million assured, in a Zoom information convention Monday. His repute for his energy bat — a droop late final season apart — fills a necessity within the Cubs’ lineup. However it was clear in addition they valued Mancini’s off-the-field repute of him.

Mancini was the comeback participant of the yr in 2021, getting back from battling Stage 3 colon most cancers the yr earlier than. He says now that his leg energy from him going into that season “wasn’t even shut” to what it had been earlier than surgical procedure and 6 months of chemotherapy. However he nonetheless mashed 21 dwelling runs in 2021.

Mancini has spent most of his profession with the Orioles, who in 2013 drafted him within the eighth spherical — that’s, till a three-team commerce on the deadline final yr despatched him to Houston. There, he hit a droop, his batting common dropping to .176 with the Astros.

“I dealt with all of it nicely,” he mentioned. “Simply, sadly, slumped that on the incorrect time and bought in some dangerous habits on the plate mechanically. However you be taught so much. And I believe I powered via very well. And we gained the World Collection, which was superb, and I bought to contribute in the long run there.”

When a collision on the bottom paths in Recreation 5 of the World Collection sidelined Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel for the remainder of the postseason, Mancini stepped in. The subsequent inning, Mancini made a game-saving play at first base. The subsequent recreation, he logged his first hit of the playoffs.

Now, he is bringing these classes to a Cubs group pulling itself out of a rebuild.

“Expertise issues at this stage,” Mancini mentioned. “After I was a rookie, I sought out the recommendation of all of the veterans that had been on the group, like Mark Trumbo, Adam Jones, Chris Davis, JJ Hardy, the checklist goes on and on. And that helped me so much to develop as a participant.”

Mancini’s standing as a veteran becoming a member of a brand new group additionally made him rethink his dedication to Group Italy for the World Baseball Traditional this spring.

“A whole lot of occasions once you’re round a brand new group and desirous to get to know the fellows, it is necessary to be there all of the spring,” Mancini mentioned. “In order that’s on me for not holding off till I knew what scenario I used to be going into.”

The Cubs have added two veteran first basemen this offseason, Mancini and Eric Hosmer, one who bats from the proper facet and one from the left. Mancini emphasised his potential to additionally play nook outfield and function the designated hitter. He mentioned supervisor David Ross instructed him opposing pitching matchups would decide the place he’d play within the subject on any given day.

This offseason, Mancini has been targeted on getting again to an up-the-middle method on the plate, not pulling the ball an excessive amount of. That is one thing he observed he bought away from final season.

“Earlier than I went via [fighting cancer], baseball slumps had been the most important problem I had ever confronted in my life,” he mentioned. “And I am fortunate to say that was the most important drawback that I had. However it places quite a lot of issues in perspective.”

The depth and drive that he approaches his job with hasn’t modified.

“However it does make you notice what an actual drawback is, and what a baseball drawback is,” he mentioned. “And you will get via any of them.”

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