Mancini undergoing chemo treatments, unlikely to play in 2020

April 28, 2020 | Luke Jones

Breaking his silence for the first time since mid-March, Orioles star Trey Mancini revealed he’s undergoing chemotherapy for Stage 3 colon cancer and is unlikely to play even if baseball has a 2020 season.

General manager Mike Elias said Mancini’s recovery would take “months rather than weeks” earlier this month, but the 28-year-old provided more details about his health in an article he wrote at The Players’ Tribute on Tuesday. In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic that’s killed tens of thousands and halted professional sports and so many other aspects of everyday life, Mancini began chemo in Baltimore two weeks ago and will receive treatments every two weeks for the next six months.

“If baseball returns in 2020, it will probably be without me,” Mancini wrote. “But I want everybody to know that I’m OK. I know reading everything and seeing that I had a malignant tumor removed from my colon [on March 12], it’s a lot to absorb — believe me, I know.

“Whenever the time comes for me to come back to baseball, I’ll be ready. But I just want to make sure that I am physically fine before I go out there and start trying to perform again at a major league level.”

After his physical at the start of spring training revealed low iron levels and prompted further testing, Mancini was eventually diagnosed with colon cancer on March 13. Indicating there were no telltale signs associated with the disease, the 2019 Most Valuable Oriole only felt more fatigued than usual at the start of spring training, but he initially chalked it up to getting older and “didn’t think for even one second that anything was seriously wrong.”

The first baseman and outfielder offered praise for the Baltimore training staff, front office, and ownership for their support and went out of his way to thank fans for their support and recognize the many people currently being impacted by the pandemic. Praised for his charitable work in the community, Mancini is already planning to help those in need when he completes his cancer treatments.

“I know that this is a terrible time for everybody,” Mancini wrote. “So many people have lost jobs, so many people have lost loved ones. After my chemo is done and when I’m totally cancer-free, I’ve got a few different ideas of what I can do.

“I’m lucky enough to have a platform that I feel allows me to make a difference for some people — even if it’s just spreading awareness about the importance of getting a physical every year.”

In a career season last year, Mancini batted .291 with 35 home runs, 38 doubles, 97 runs batted in, and an .899 on-base plus slugging percentage. He has clubbed 86 homers since making his major league debut late in the 2016 campaign and finished third in AL Rookie of the Year voting in 2017.