Blue and Gold Illustrated

June-July 2019

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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50 JUNE/JULY 2019 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED IRISH IN THE PROS BY STEVE DOWNEY W hen Trey Mancini made his ma- jor league debut at the end of the 2016 season, the Baltimore Orioles were on their way to an 89-73 record and their third playoff appearance in five years. That team featured respected manager Buck Showalter and vet- eran players such as pitchers Zach Britton and Kevin Gausman, infield- ers Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop, and outfielder Adam Jones. Mancini stepped into a comple- mentary role and did it well, hitting 24 home runs in each of his first two full seasons with the organization. However, the Orioles lost 202 games over those two seasons, including 115 in 2018 — the most since the fran- chise moved to Baltimore in 1954. Baltimore kicked into full rebuild- ing mode during last year 's disas- trous campaign, trading Britton, Gausman, Machado and Schoop. After the season, the Orioles parted ways with Showalter and other vet- erans such as Jones. Suddenly, the 27-year-old Mancini found himself one of the team's elder statesmen and perhaps even the new face of the franchise. "Yeah it was pretty quick," Man- cini told prior to the start of the season when asked about his ascension to team leader. "You know life can come at you fast some- times, and it definitely did or me. But I'm ready for it." Indeed he was. Mancini led by example with a red-hot start at the plate, batting .355 with six home runs and 14 RBI in March and April. "I just wanted to help contribute every night and I didn't want to think too long term," Mancini told The Baltimore Sun when asked about his hot start and goals for the remain- der of the season. "… I just want to go out and try to put good at-bats together. If you do that, at the end of the year you'll be really happy with how you did personally. "That is something I've learned. Not being too result-oriented and getting caught up in every at-bat. Because you can drive yourself crazy in this game if you do that." Ironically, Mancini's blistering start could result in him also being traded, with the Orioles potentially looking to jump-start their rebuild by cashing in on one of their top assets. In the midst of a 14-26 start by the Orioles through May 13, local media specu- lated that it might make sense for the organization to trade Mancini for prospects rather then pay him what he would command in arbitration the next three years. "I love playing here, and I think there would be nothing cooler than to be here throughout the rebuild — however long it takes — and to kind of come out the other side," Mancini said. However, he will not waste time dwelling on the possibility of being moved by the team. "I really would love to play here for a long time — I really would — but it's also a business," Mancini said. "I know that. It's totally out of my jurisdiction and not really my arena. "I'm a baseball player. I go out and play and hopefully everything else takes care of itself." NOTRE DAME IN MLB Through May 13 • John Axford (Played at Notre Dame from 2002‑05), RHP, Toronto Blue Jays: Has yet to pitch this season due to a stress reaction in his right elbow. • Trey Mancini (2011‑13), 1B/OF, Baltimore Orioles: Saw action in 37 of the Orioles' first 40 contests … Was hitting .318 with seven home runs and 16 RBI … Ranked ninth in the American League in batting average, 11th in on-base plus slugging percentage (.914) and tied for 13th in runs (26). • David Phelps (2006‑08), RHP, Toronto Blue Jays: Still recovering from his 2018 Tommy John surgery and has yet to pitch for the Blue Jays this year. • A.J. Pollock (2007‑09), OF, Los Angeles Dodg‑ ers: Landed on the 10-day injured list in late April due to a right elbow infection … It was announced May 6 that he would need surgery to clear out the infection and would be sidelined for another six weeks … Played in 28 games before being sidelined, and batted .223 with two homers and 14 RBI. • Jeff Samardzija (2003‑06), RHP, San Francisco Giants: Has made eight starts for the 17-23 Giants … Compiled a 2-1 record with a 3.51 ERA … Notched 34 strikeouts in his first 41 innings of work. NOTRE DAME IN THE NBA PLAYOFFS Through May 13 • Pat Connaughton (Played at Notre Dame from 2011‑15), G, Milwaukee Bucks: Came off the bench in each of Milwaukee's first nine playoff contests … Averaged 8.4 points, 7.9 boards, 1.6 as- sists, 0.9 blocks and 0.4 steals in 28.2 minutes per contest, while shooting 48.4 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from three-point range … The Massachusetts native, playing less than 10 miles from where he grew up, was especially produc- tive while helping the Bucks seize control of their second-round series against the Celtics with a pair of wins in Boston May 3 and May 6, averaging 11.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per outing … Top-seeded Milwaukee swept Detroit 4-0 in the first round and then took down Boston 4-1 in the Eastern Confer- ence semifinals. • Jerian Grant (2011‑15), G, Orlando Magic: Played in three of Orlando's five playoff games … Scored five points, grabbed four rebounds and notched three assists in 14 minutes of action … The Magic fell 4-1 to Toronto in its first-round series. NOTRE DAME IN THE NHL PLAYOFFS Through May 13 • Ian Cole (Played at Notre Dame from 2007‑10), D, Colorado Avalanche: Saw action in all 12 of Col- orado's playoff contests … Notched five assists and was plus-6 … The Avalanche knocked off Calgary 4-1 in the first round before falling 4-3 to St. Louis in the Western Conference semifinals. • Anders Lee (2010‑13), F, New York Island‑ ers: Played in all eight of New York's postseason games … Tallied four points (one goal and three assists) and stood minus-1 … The Islanders swept Pittsburgh 4-0 in their opening series, but lost 4-0 to Carolina in the Eastern Conference semifinals. • Bryan Rust (2010‑14), F, Pittsburgh Penguins: Saw ice time in each of the Penguins' four playoff outings, but failed to record a point and was mi- nus-4 … Pittsburgh fell 4-0 to the New York Island- ers in the first round. ✦ Trey Mancini Flying High For Orioles Mancini batted .318 with seven home runs and 16 RBI while seeing action in 37 of Baltimore's first 40 games this season. PHOTO COURTESY BALTIMORE ORIOLES

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