Orioles' Chris Davis reports early and is eager to get back to work; Hyde's been encouraging - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Spring Training

Orioles’ Chris Davis reports early and is eager to get back to work; Hyde’s been encouraging

Photo Credit: Joy R. Absalon

SARASOTA, Fla.-What’s happening? – Chris Davis is eager to get on the field after reporting early for spring training. He hopes to get back to work today after coming down with the flu and bronchitis after arriving last Sunday.

Davis said he’s been diligent in his offseason work after an abysmal 2018. He hit .168 and stuck out 192 times in 128 games during the 115-loss season.

“I think anytime you are successful at the highest level, when you’re going through tough times, when you’re struggling, there’s always going to be a voice questioning, ‘Did he work? Did he do this?’” Davis said.

“I think that’s just kind of part of it. To me, the biggest thing that bothered me the way it was handled last year was I felt like, as far as our team was concerned, we were just kind of hanging on for dear life at the time and that really showed. Personally, I think it really showed how disconnected and just how far apart we were in the clubhouse. That was frustrating to me because I didn’t want any of the guys in the clubhouse to feel like I wasn’t pulling my weight.”

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Orioles manager Brandon Hyde has had discussions with Davis but hasn’t talked specifics.

“I haven’t talked to him about a comeback or a bounce-back year or anything like that, mainly his comfort level,” Hyde said. “I want him to feel good about being on the field. I want him  to feel like this camp is going to go well for him. He’s done it before. He’s done a lot of really good things. I just want him to feel like we’re behind him and supporting him.”

The first Grapefruit League game is a week from today against the Minnesota Twins.

What’s happened?—More position players reported. Outfielders Austin Hays, Cedric Mullins, Joey Rickard and Anthony Santander arrived, as did utility player Jace Peterson.

All took batting practice as Hyde watched.

Tom Giordano, who as scouting director for the Orioles, drafted Cal Ripken Jr., died Thursday at 93. Giordano worked for the Orioles from 1976-87 and was still working as a scout for the Atlanta Braves at the time of his death.

What’s up with? –Bo Schultz is trying to make the Orioles as a non-roster spring training invite. Schultz, 33, has a 4.54 ERA in 51 major league games with Arizona and Toronto from 2014-16.

Schultz went to Dallas’ Highland Park High School and was a senior when Clayton Kershaw and Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford was a sophomore.

The right-hander also considered a career in journalism when he enrolled at Northwestern’s Medill School.

Schultz missed the 2017 season with Tommy John surgery and was with the Pittsburgh organization last year.

“Anytime you have an opportunity to play in the AL East, you’re in a premier division,” Schultz said. “There’s a lot of good opportunity here. Anytime there’s a lot of turnover, front office, coaching, players, there’s one: opportunity, but two: a good place, I guess not have to fight yourself in, just kind of jump in with everyone else because everyone else is new, too.”

What’s what? – Another change that Hyde has introduced is having most players take batting practice in Ed Smith Stadium instead of on the back fields.

The catchers take batting practice after they’re finished catching bullpens on one of the back fields.

In the past, the only drill conducted in the stadium was a popup exercise with pumped-in crowd noise designed to distract the fielders. An occasional intrasquad game was played in the stadium, but in recent years, those were conducted on the back fields.

What’s the word? –  “The guys that see me, day-in and day-out, have a lot better feel for what’s going on than our fans do when they only get a little glimpse of us between 7 and 10 o’clock at night or whatever it is, whatever time the game is that day. But I don’t think there’s a whole lot to prove to the guys in the clubhouse.”-Chris Davis on whether he needs to show the Orioles’ new management he can still perform

What’s the number? 8. –That’s the unofficial number of position players yet to report. Position players don’t have to report until Sunday, and most are on hand. Hanser Alberto, Yusniel Diaz, Ryan Mountcastle, Jack Reinheimer, DJ Stewart, Jonathan Villar, Steve Wilkerson and Eric Young Jr. haven’t been spotted in the clubhouse, although that could change today. Jesus Sucre is still in Venezuela because of visa issues.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Hallbe62

    February 16, 2019 at 10:05 am

    Thanks for the update Rich. I think Davis will be fine. Maybe not to the level of his 2013 performance but something just south of that.

    • Rich Dubroff

      February 16, 2019 at 1:51 pm

      You’re welcome, Hallbe. I think Davis would take that, too.

  2. Boog Robinson Robinson

    February 16, 2019 at 11:46 am

    Stick a fork in Crush Davis folks. He’s done. If you haven’t noticed, it wasn’t just last year that he’s been been awful. He’s hit .221, .215 and .168 successively over the past 3. He’ll be 33 years old before the season starts and well past his athletic prime. Y’all can wish him well as much as you want, but he’s done. The days of Crush Davis Superhero bobblehead giveaways are behind us.

    I just feel sorry for whomever he’s hitting behind in the lineup.

    • Bhoffman1

      February 16, 2019 at 12:26 pm

      I kind of agree with you . His season last year wasn’t bad it was the worst in the history of MLB. It’s best if he just doesn’t talk and busts his butt this spring training and let’s hope for a miracle turnaround.

    • chico salmon

      February 16, 2019 at 3:51 pm

      My question is what’s the minimal performance ownership will accept from Davis? If his trends continue, it really doesn’t make sense for a rebuilding team to hold back development of other players just because you owe Chris tons of money.

      I say keep him until the middle of the season, maybe August. If Chris continues to trend downward, release him and eat the rest of the contract. Swallow pride and money, and move on.

    • Raymo

      February 16, 2019 at 6:48 pm

      I’m afraid I have to agree with Boog here. The odds of CD hitting above 200 are pretty slim. It’s unfortunate, but wishful thinking won’t help.

      I wonder how much longer the team will carry him on the roster. Four more years would be brutal for both the team and for Davis. I hope I have to eat my words, but I don’t think it’s likely.

    • Bhoffman1

      February 16, 2019 at 8:25 pm

      Why doesn’t Rich who I appreciate so much for this chat and who seems like a great guy answer only the positive comments about Davis not the reality of how bad he has been for the last two years and how much longer we can take if he doesn’t improve soon. Everyone knows Mancini should not be in the outfield but playing first base

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